Leicester City Season Preview
Ahead of the new Premier League season, Sky Sports examines Leicester's strengths and weaknesses as well as giving you the chance to select your preferred Foxes XI...
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 14/08/14 12:06pm
Can Leicester cut it in the Premier League? Here's the lowdown on what's new at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester overpowered the Championship in emphatic style in 2013/14, becoming only the fifth team to pass 100 point mark in second tier, scoring 83 goals and winning an amazing 31 matches in the process. As a result, there is every reason to feel good about their chances as the Foxes return to the top flight after a decade away. Even so, manager Nigel Pearson will be acutely aware that the Premier League represents a very different challenge.
Leicester’s title winning squad was not blessed with a vast amount of Premier League experience so that’s something Pearson has actively sought to address in the summer. Matthew Upson adds experience to the defence, while Marc Albrighton offers an alternative type of wide man with his ability to get to the byline. But the big signing is Leandro Ulloa for an undisclosed club record fee. The striker did well at Brighton but it’s a gamble on a 28-year-old with little top-flight pedigree.
Kasper Schmeichel has a growing reputation in the game and while comparisons with his famous father are obvious, the Dane now deserves to be recognised as a quality keeper in his own right. The 27 year old was an ever present for Leicester last term and will surely have an even bigger role to play in the Premier League. In fact, Schmeichel might have to emerge as one of the stars of their season if the Foxes are to stay away from trouble.
There is little fantasy about the Leicester forward line. Indeed, the fact that Dave Nugent, 29, was the club’s top scorer last season but has just nine goals in 61 Premier League appearances indicates how hard the step up could be. Jamie Vardy is a willing worker at best and Ulloa is also a striker reliant on service so the onus will be on the team’s creative types. Riyad Mahrez, Anthony Knockaert and the aforementioned Albrighton could need to have big seasons.
Sky Bet Title odds – 5000/1
- The Foxes scored in 31 consecutive league games between November and May; the longest run of the season.
- Nigel Pearson’s men won 10 points from losing positions on the road last season; a league-high.
- No side were awarded more penalties in the top four tiers of English football last season than Leicester City (14).
Leicester will do ok because they’ve got a lot of pace up front. They got used to winning last year and the hardest thing for teams coming up is getting used to losing. They’ll get chinned, beaten 4-0 or 5-0 at times and that’s hard to take. But Leicester have a strong defence and they seem to have a real togetherness there. It’s a good place to play, the atmosphere is fierce and I think they’ll be ok. It’s hard to predict who will go down. Palace are a great example to the promoted teams of what togetherness and defensive strength can do and Leicester have both of those attributes.