Nigel Pearson’s Leicester side are finally picking up the results they deserve
Leicester City have won their last two Premier League matches and have a chance of avoiding the drop back to the Championship at the first time of asking – just as we predicted prior to the start of the campaign. Nigel Pearson’s side have defeated West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion in recent weeks and have a game in hand over the other teams in the relegation battle. We take a look at Leicester’s remaining matches and give our reasons why the Foxes will avoid relegation and complete the ‘Great Escape’ after looking down and out just a fortnight ago.
They have the momentum after recent results
The Foxes will be confident of picking up victories in their last seven matches, particularly after beating West Ham and West Brom in recent weeks. Leicester’s 3-2 win against Tony Pulis’ side showed their commitment and ‘never give up’ attitude as they twice came from behind to earn all three points at The Hawthorns. Nigel Pearson’s outfit will look to continue their excellent recent run of form into their clash with Swansea at the weekend.
Five of their remaining matches are at the King Power Stadium
Leicester will hope that home advantage can play a crucial role in their Premier League run-in, and will play five of their last seven games at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes host Swansea, Chelsea, Newcastle, Southampton and QPR on the last day, with just two away trips to Burnley and Sunderland remaining. Leicester’s supporters will be right behind their side and will create a thrilling atmosphere, which could intimidate the opposition.
They face three teams who have ‘nothing’ to play for
Although this does not necessarily mean that Leicester are guaranteed to win these matches, it does mean that the opposition may not be fully focused on the game. Swansea, Newcastle and Southampton are all safe, and have little to play for as the season comes to an end. Pearson’s side may be able to take advantage of this, and will hope that these teams already have one eye on their summer holiday rather than remaining determined to win their last six Premier League fixtures.
They have three ‘six pointers’ against rival clubs
Leicester still have to play three of the teams around them in the table; Burnley, Sunderland and then Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the season. In the corresponding fixtures earlier in the season, the Foxes lost 3-2 to QPR at Loftus Road while drawing with Sean Dyche’s side and the Black Cats at the King Power Stadium. Leicester will look to earn victories in at least two of these upcoming fixtures in order to ensure that they can give themselves the best chance of staying up and climbing the table.
They play the best football and will create chances
Leicester have been praised for the quality of their football this season, and many believe they are much better than their current league position suggests. The Foxes annihilated Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United side earlier in the season, as Leicester scored five goals past the 13-time Premier League champions. Meanwhile, they have created numerous chances in matches but have struggled to finish at times – although this has changed in recent weeks as Pearson’s side have scored eight goals in their last three league games.
Their goal difference gives them a slight advantage
Although this is not a huge issue as there are still seven matches remaining and a lot can change, Leicester’s goal difference is currently better than most of the sides around them and this gives them a slight advantage. If they can beat the likes of QPR, Sunderland and Burnley, then there will also be a ‘two goal swing’ for every goal scored – something that will help to further widen the goal difference gap. With so many teams fighting for survival, there is a good chance that goal difference will come into play.
Their fixture list is kind
On paper, Leicester have the easiest fixture list of the sides near the bottom of the table, especially with five of their remaining matches at home. Hull, for example, have to face Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley, Tottenham and Manchester United in their final six matches, whilst Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland side close out the season with back-to-back away trips to Arsenal and Chelsea. This means that the head-to-head fixtures between the teams are more important than ever, and Leicester will give themselves a great chance if they can win at least two of the three fixtures against Burnley, Sunderland and QPR on the final day.
Do you agree that Leicester City will avoid relegation back to the Championship, or do you think the writing is on the wall for Pearson’s side? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box!