Leicester 2017/18 season preview: Will Foxes maintain momentum?
Last Updated: 09/08/17 12:25pm
Will Leicester City maintain their momentum under Craig Shakespeare? Read our season preview with expert views from Soccer Saturday pundit Phil Thompson.
Finishing position: 12th (-11)
Total points: 44 (-37)
Champions League: Quarter-finals
FA Cup: Fifth round
EFL Cup: Third round
Top league scorer: Jamie Vardy (13)
Key stat: Leicester's failed title defence goes down as the worst in Premier League history, with their final position of 12th poorer than Chelsea's 10th place in 2015/16. They spent two days in the relegation zone before going on a run of five consecutive wins under new manager Craig Shakespeare which pulled them away from danger.
Major ins: Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City £25m), Harry Maguire (Hull, £17m), Vicente Iborra (Sevilla, £12.5m), Eldin Jakupovic (Hull, undisclosed).
Major outs: Ron-Robert Zieler (Stuttgart, £3.5m), Marcin Wasilewski (released).
PHIL THOMPSON'S VIEW
Will Leicester maintain the momentum they had at end of last season?
THOMMO: The biggest question is whether they can continue with what Shakespeare was able to bring in. That grit is vital to Leicester being successful again.
Which of their players are you most excited about watching?
THOMMO: If Jamie Vardy gets that hunger back, along with consistency, then that will be the catalyst for them to kick on. They did well to keep him and, while he didn't have the best campaign last season, he starts that aggressive nature up front. I'm looking forward to seeing the fire back in his game.
What are the challenges facing the manager this season?
THOMMO: If Leicester lose Danny Drinkwater that would be huge because he's as good a holding midfielder as most. I think Riyad Mahrez will go so that title-winning team is breaking up. Replacing those players is going to be difficult.
What are their strengths?
THOMMO: I think they'll get their hunger back, which they lost a bit at the start of the season, and the King Power won't be a happy hunting ground. They need that fearsomeness back for that to happen.
What are their weaknesses?
THOMMO: The defensive partnership of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan was something they relied heavily on and the question is whether they can replace that.
Having been a centre-back myself, I know how important that is in putting confidence in the side and that is where they could be vulnerable. In that title-winning season they were among the best around but last season they dropped down to a bottom-half defence.
Where will they finish this season and why?
THOMMO: I think they'll get back into the top half this season and probably finish eighth or ninth.