After 25 Premier League matches in the 2014-15 season, Leicester City were rock bottom of the Premier League table. A 2-1 loss to Arsenal that February left them with a meagre 17 points and five points from safety.
This was expected in a league of international stars and big money clubs. Leicester managed to avoid the drop, which surprised many. But what no-one was expecting was what happened a year later…
History in Premier League
Leicester first gained promotion to the Premier League in 1996 and enjoyed four straight top-10 finishes. After a slide in form, they were relegated from the Premier League in 2002.
The Foxes’ form continued to slide until they found themselves relegated to League One in 2008. They managed to claw their way back into the Championship after one season, but it was another five years until Leicester were promoted to the Premier League.
It didn’t start well for Leicester, who by April 2015 were facing the drop. However from this seemingly impossible position during April, a remarkable transition took place where they won seven, drew one and lost only one to eventual champions, Chelsea.
When the final game of the season was over, Leicester had 41 points and finished 14th in the Premier League.
Despite saving the club from relegation, manager Nigel Pearson was sacked at the end of the season over differences of opinion about how the club should be run.
Claudio Ranieri had been sacked as manager of the Greek national team following their inability to reach the Euro 2016 finals and having to bear the shame of losing to the Faroe Islands!
Yet under the management of Ranieri, Leicester have had a remarkable change of fortune. In February 2016, they sat five points clear at the top of the league after beating Man City 3-1 away from home. Following this win they found themselves with 53 points, 36 more than this time the previous year.
Their leading scorer during the 2015/16 is Jamie Vardy. In a true rags-to-riches tale, the Foxes signed Vardy from Fleetwood Town in 2012 for £1million. He repaid the fee many times over during the 2015/16, when he scored in 11 games on the trot, beating the record of 10 set by Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
Vardy’s fantastic pace, running and hard work is having a huge impact in Leicester’s success, keeping them away from the drop. He’s also the key to Leicester’s title challenge over the course of an amazing season.
Before the start of the season, we made Leicester City 5000/1 to win the league; in short, we thought they’d be relegated.
In November 2015, we were still offering 1000/1 on Leicester winning the league! We’re now offering odds 23/20.
The fact that we’re no longer offering bets on the chances of Leicester going down shows that our experts are as shocked as the rest of the footballing world by their upturn in fortunes.
In fact, Leicester can’t go down – they’re already safe! They are currently our favourites to win the league.