After Leicester City's 3-1 victory at the Etihad against English giants Manchester City, Claudio Ranieri stated that the fans need to keep dreaming. Rightly so, the Italian manager is in a position to chalk out a perfect script with his side defying all odds. The Foxes are indeed on the cusp of creating history in the Premier League.
Leicester City has won hearts of football lovers. Neutrals are vying for the Foxes, as pundits of the sport have liked the team’s sense of freedom and expression on the pitch.
There is a sense of belief and positivity all around that Leicester are no more outsiders but genuine title contenders.
Although the Premier League has proven many times that until the last game anything can happen, free flowing Leicester know they have to continue their excellent job till the last kick of the ball.
Humble Leicester players enjoyed pizzas for every clean sheet and once they got to 40 points, there were champagne bottles to celebrate their survival this season. With the journey not just ending there, Leicester has taken the fight to all the giants who are competing for the honour. Interestingly, Ranieri’s side have handled them with ease.
With 13 matches for the season to end, Leicester see themselves above Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, with Manchester City a point below the London rivals.
Expectations and pressure are increasing as every week progresses and Leicester’s players have handled that exceptionally well focusing one game at a time. The collective unity within the Foxes is very expressive and there is a deep element of bond within the manager and his men.
The scenario for Leicester is different to that of a big club. There is enjoyment within the group and less pressure because even if they slip from a title winning position, there will be a feeling of joy and happiness given their achievement this season. It's safe to assume that a Champions League spot is already in their hands, something a relegation fighting team can only dream of.
Interestingly, the small squad of players aided by the experience of Ranieri, are creating new dreams.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez should be lauded for their success as a pair which has already seen them scoring 32 goals between them. The feat is remarkable given that the tally equals the combined goals scored by Chelsea and Manchester United after 25 games.
Leicester duo has taken the level of attacking football to a different level in the Premier League. But it is not just these two who have excelled, the defensive unit and the tireless midfield bears equal responsibility for the success.
Leicester’s base has been strong and Ranieri’s side at the back has been exceptional who have kept the team intact. Robert Huth deserves a special mention for his heroics against Tottenham and City. The formidable barrier in front of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has been solid to ensure they stay tight.
Outstanding midfielder N'Golo Kante has rose up to be one of the notable names in the EPL this season dictating the Foxes’ play and his interceptions have made the difference.
Ranieri has gone on to praise all his deputies on the pitch thus highlighting the unity and strength as a team. Leicester has had an excellent run seeing off heavyweights Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City with conviction.
This weekend they face Arsenal and a good result at the Emirates will only enhance their progress. From there on there are some easy fixtures that they are expected to win and go closer to winning the title.
Moreover, Ranieri’s side have just the league to focus at, and given their small squad that is a bonus.
Leicester will only be the second team after Blackburn Rovers (1994-95) to win the Premier League title apart from United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Their counter-attacking, direct pressing and possession-less football have won hearts. Leicester presents itself with a chance to lift the trophy at Stamford Bridge on the final gameweek which is the home of defending champions Chelsea.