What an incredible week its been. Only Leicester fans would have been brave enough to bet on their side beating Chelsea 2-1. And the irony that Ranieri who was replaced by Chelsea for The Special One when the club had greater aspirations would eventually get his own back on both of them.
Last weekends win means that Leicester have now beaten the top six teams in the Premier League (apart from Arsenal), and even that game could have gone either way. With half of the season gone and Leicester STILL sitting 2 points clear at the top of the table, or at least stand a very good chance of qualifying for the Champions League?
The odds that Ranieri’s side will stay top come the end of the season become more apparent when you look at the rest of the top teams.
I think its clear to say we can write-off Chelsea this season for finishing even in the top four. Whether it’s Guus Hiddink or an ex-Chelsea player that comes in for the interim, they have a lot of work to do to motivate a lack-luster side.
It’s this time of the year when Arsenal begin to fall apart. Will it happen again this year?
With a resurgent Ozil now playing to his true form and level that we’ve expect and a strong front two striker in Sanchez and Giroud they have as good a chance as any.
But recent injuries with Rosicky, Alexis, Arteta and Wilshere, we could end up seeing the same old Arsenal finishing in fourth.
Manchester United have had irritating spurts of good form and their current injury list is as long as your arm. They have more injuries (9 in total) than any other top team, including some key players in Rooney, Young, Valencia and Shaw. And with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger looking way past his sell-buy-date I’d expect to see them finish in the top-3.
Manchester City look to be the only other team with enough strength and depth to their squad to build a challenge for the title. But with so much talk about Pep Guardiola coming in to take charge, this will no doubt unsettle the players in the short-term. And with most of City’s key-players out of form at the moment it’s likely they will hold off United for second spot.
Leicester’s biggest win during the new year would be to hold onto their key players in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Provided Ranieri can do that and continue to instill the level of confidence the players have every time they go out on the pitch, they stand a great chance of lifting the league trophy. The difficulty could be that Ranieri may want to strengthen the squad in January, but bring new players in could destabilise the team. The following month will be crucial for Leicester.
I’m hoping they’ll go all the way and make history, as the first team to come from the Championship to win the Premier League, it’s a feat unimaginable but miracles do happen. Are Leicester now in the title race? You bet they are!