Will Leicester City finish in the top four this season?

Leicester City Quiz

After 23 games, Leicester City have a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. The Foxes have been superb throughout the first half of the campaign and stand a genuine chance of finishing in the top four at the very least this season.

Since taking over at the club, Claudio Ranieri has transformed this Leicester side from relegation candidates to title contenders. Here’s why Leicester WILL finish in the top four this season. Ultimately, they are fresher than their top four rivals. Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool have all been involved in European competition throughout the season and may pay the price for this towards the end of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Leicester will still be relatively fresh – especially as they were knocked out of both cup competitions in the earlier rounds.

Plenty of punters will be visiting online bookmakers, such as Coral, to place their bets on Leicester finishing in the top four this season. After their impressive start, it’s hard to see them slowing down and the Foxes are currently priced at 2/5 in the football odds markets. If they continue to dominate matches, Ranieri’s men stand an excellent chance of achieving this and some supporters will already have one eye on a dream title victory.

Ranieri has built his squad around his two top talents: Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.  Earlier in the campaign, Vardy became the first player in Premier League history to score in 11 consecutive fixtures.  The former non-league star has been an inspiration to young footballers across England and his antics – both on and off the field – have seen him grab the headlines on more than one occasion this season.

However, it is perhaps Mahrez who deserves the majority of the plaudits. Football is a team game but without individual talent, every team would struggle. Mahrez has been in the form of his life and has influenced games almost single-handedly at times this season. He has scored 13 goals, as well as assisting many others and the Algeria international is a real handful. In fact, Leicester will do well to hang on to Mahrez as Europe’s elite clubs have all been linked with a move for the winger.

Why can’t Leicester City win the title… stranger things have happened in the past. While it would be incredibly bizarre, the Foxes look as though they could last the distance this season and Coral are currently offering football odds of 8/1 on Leicester to win the league. It’s almost impossible to comprehend but on current form, there’s absolutely no reason why the Foxes cannot achieve their dream goal. This has been one of the craziest Premier League seasons of all-time and a Leicester title win would be the icing on the proverbial cake.

January Transfer Window

Transfer Window

Who will be the busiest in this January’s Transfer Window ?

The transfer window this January could turn out to be an interesting one. Even Arsene Wenger looks like putting his hand in his pocket this time. There are deals to be done as clubs strive to stay in the league and make the most of the riches on offer from the new television deal.

But it doesn’t feel like there will be big deals. It feels like a rush for quantity rather than quality. Bournemouth have added depth with three signings so far. Liverpool have taken Steven Caulker on loan for defensive cover. Leicester have got a bargain in Demarai Gray, but he looks like on for the future rather than a first-teamwork this season.

Here’s our guide to the clubs we expect to be adding to their squad the most.

Sunderland

Sam Allardyce has stated time and again that he believes the key to survival is clean sheets. But the defence that he inherited isn’t capable of this. John O’Shea and Wes Brown are fast approaching the end of their careers but still look steadier than Sebastian Coates. It looks like they need to add several more defenders to have any chance of picking up enough points to survive. Expect some typical Big Sam wheeling and dealing. Loans may be on the cards as the owner Ellis Short always seems reluctant to spend.

Arsenal

They have walked into their usual injury crisis but without any of the usual signs of young quality players breaking through. This may be the January that Wenger adds heavily to his squad. Backup central defenders, defensive midfielders (when don’t Arsenal need a defensive midfielder?) and cover for Olivier Giroud are all needed. Will Wenger see this as the biggest opportunity in over a decade to win the league? If so, will he spend to secure that title? You never know with a man as stubborn as Arsene Wenger.

West Brom

It may seem strange for a team that are 9 points ahead of the drop zone to be frantically looking over their shoulder but that’s the situation West Brom find themselves in. If they lose Saido Berahino then goals go from being a problem to a crisis. They will have to spend to plug this gap. Creativity is a longstanding issue so some midfield purchases may also be on the cards.

Swansea City

The club are in freefall. It’s not clear whether they appointed Alan Curtis as manager because he impressed or because nobody else wanted the job. Jonjo Shelvey has just left and there’s £12m from his sale ready to reinvest.

They need goals, midfield power and a partner for Ashley Williams in central defence. It will be difficult to clear all of these up in one window so some loan deals or short-term moves may be in order.

Whatever the transfer window brings, there’s bound to be some surprise deals and some late drama.

This article was produced by Steve Thompson of In Off the Post. You can read more of his articles on his blog: http://inofftheblogpost.blogspot.co.uk/