Premier League Preview – Leicester City

Getting these up a little late but its better than never. 

Leicester City have had a well-chronicled path through the Premier League.  Promotion in 2014 to a title in 2016.  2018 saw a 9th place which was an improvement of three spots from 2017.  What will 2019 bring? 

  • The lead-up to the season saw Harry Maguire star for England at the World Cup.
  • Riyad Mahrez finally depart heading to Manchester City for £60m
  • Several additions
    • James Maddison from Norwich City for £25m
    • Ricardo Pereira from Porto for £22.5m
    • Danny Ward from Liverpool for £12.5m
    • Caglar Soyuncu from Freiburg for £19m
    • Jonny Evans from West Bromwich Albion for £3.5m
    • And several other free or undisclosed players

On that list there were no true reinforcements behind Jamie Vardy.  The talismen clocks in at 31 to start the year but his January birthday will see him finish the season at 32.  Vardy’s pace and timing of runs are scary.  Will age slow him or will he just transition to a different style of scorer?  Vardy’s first year in the Prem is his only sub 15 goal season.  For Leicester to stay relevant it would appear Vardy needs to stay healthy and in-form.  

The defense looks to be in capable hands with no worrying departures.  Robert Huth left on a free but his departure should be more than offset from the additions and by not losing Maguire.  

With the opening fixture of the year being a 2-1 loss to Manchester United that saw Vardy start on the bench and score as a sub.  Leicester won’t really be a known quantity until they are starting their full squad.  Depth will be a question all year long.  If they can perform in an above the midline fashion for the first three months I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few reinforcements come January.  If things aren’t looking great look for a reboot with the hopes of staying clear of relegation.  The quality should see them to a mid-table finish.  I don’t see anything higher unless they bunker and find a midfield combination that can snuff out the life of the higher powered Prem talents.  

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