Premier League Team Focus: Leicester City to close the gap on the top 6?

Leicester City is a club brimming with optimism ahead of the new 2019/20 Premier League season – and with good reason.

After their excellent finish to the previous campaign, and some clever summer market manoeuvres, Leicester looking well-equipped to secure their highest league finish since their famous title winning season in 2015/16.

Foxes manager, Brendan Rodgers, who has only been in the King Power hotseat since late February, has already displayed a capacity for bringing the best out of Leicester’s numerous talented young players, and after a full pre-season under his instruction, City look ready to make their next leap.

Click here to read more about Leicester City’s chances this season in our Premier League 2019/20 Outright Betting Tips: Mid-Table and Relegation Predictions.

Position last season: 9th

Top scorer: Jamie Vardy – 18 goals.

Key Stats:

  • Only Wolves (47) scored fewer goals than Leicester (51) in last season’s Premier League top 10.
  • Leicester scored at least once in 17 of their 19 Premier League away games in 2018/19.
  • Leicester scored just 29% of their Premier League goals in the first halves of their games last term.
  • Jamie Vardy (18) was the only Leicester player to score double figures in all competitions last season.

TRANSFERS

Arrivals

James Justin – Luton Town – undisclosed

Ayoze Perez – Newcastle – £30m

Youri Tielemans – Monaco – £40m

Departures

Lamine Kaba Sherif – Accrington – free

Daniel Iversen – Rotherham – loan

Danny Simpson – released

Shinji Okazaki – released

Davide Lorenzo – released

Possible Line-up

Leicester City possible lineup 2019/20

Player to Watch

Harvey Barnes

Old fashioned outside left Harvey Barnes enjoyed a breakout season in 2018/19, first excelling on loan with WBA in the first half of the campaign, before making a similarly positive impact with Leicester following his return to the club in January.

The 21-year old’s skilful and direct wing play quickly made him a favourite with the Foxes fanbase, and Barnes’ performances were rewarded with a bumper new 5-year contract in June.

With a full pre-season under his belt, we expect Barnes’ influence at Leicester to grow this year.

The Season Ahead

Can Ayoze ease Vardy’s goalscoring burden?

Leicester City can count themselves fortunate to have a talismanic poacher like Jamie Vardy in their ranks, though the Foxes over reliance on him for goals is quite remarkable.

Over the past 2 seasons, the rapid hitman scored just under 40% of City’s total goals in the Premier League, but with Vardy turning 33 in January, Leicester badly need to take some of the goalscoring pressure off his shoulders.

Enter Ayoze Perez. Leicester City snatched the Spanish striker from Newcastle this summer for a modest £30m fee in the hope that the 26-year old can match the sort of output that saw him plunder 12 league goals for the Magpies last term.

Leicester City Jamie Vardy

Life without Harry Maguire?

Harry Maguire’s on again/off again move to Manchester United has become one of the most tedious summer transfer sagas, though the English international is still expected to move to Old Trafford before the transfer window shuts next week.

Should the deal be rubber stamped, Leicester will be left with a considerable gap to fill in their defence and a serious wedge of cash to do just that, though time to put prospective succession plans into action are running out.

With whispers of a move for Brighton’s Lewis Dunk abound, Leicester already seem to have something up their sleeve, though they will struggle to find a player that comes close to matching Maguire’s quality.

The kids are alright

There is genuine excitement among Leicester City supporters about the high number of exciting young players and blossoming potential currently at the club.

Creative midfielder James Maddison, destroyer Wilfred Ndidi, new permanent signing Youri Tielemens, in-demand fullback Ben Chilwell and flying wingers Harvey Barnes and Demarai Gray, are all aged 23 and under – and the talented clutch of youngsters look set to form the backbone of Leicester’s team this season.

The mix of youthful exuberance and technical ability in Leicester’s squad should prove a potent combination in 2019/20, though hanging on to some or all of those players over the next couple of years should prove difficult.

Wolverhampton Wolves Diogo Jota Leicester Ndidi

Leicester City Betting Tips

Leicester City to win the Premier League without the Big 6 – 7/2

Despite a poor first half to the 2018/19 season that saw Frenchman Claude Puel sacked as Leicester manager, the Foxes strong finish to the campaign left them just 5 points behind 7th placed Wolves in after the final ball was kicked.

With continental distractions and second season growing pains likely to set Wanderers back a little this term, and problems in defence and attack for Everton and West Ham respectively, Leicester look ready to attack the new season from a stronger position than all of their closest rivals for 7th spot.

James Maddsion, Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemens make up one of the finest looking midfield triumvirates in the division, Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira have the quality to match any full-back pairing in the league, while new signing Ayoze Perez should give City an extra dimension in the final third.

With that considered, we think there is great value to be had in backing Leicester to win the Premier League without the Big 6 at 7/2.

Find more of our latest Premier League predictions, betting tips and special offers on our dedicated page here.

Premier League Top Goalscorer: Jamie Vardy – 20/1 e/w

It took Jamie Vardy some time to fully find his groove in England’s top flight, but ever since his frustrating first campaign in 2014/15 he has consistently been Leicester’s biggest game-changer and match-winner.

The 32 year old, who netted 24 goals during Leicester’s incredible title win in 2015/16, has been mercilessly terrorising top flight defences ever since.

Vardy scored a whopping 75 goals in his last 141 top flight appearances, registering at least 18 times in 3 of the last 4 campaigns. He has broken the 20 goal mark twice during that period, but there’s also another vital factor to think of ahead of his chart topping prospects next season.

The Premier League will fully implement the controversial VAR system next season, and Jamie Vardy is Leicester’s prime penalty taker. Penalties scored have increased by up to 12% in leagues utilising VAR, so that could have a major knock-on effect on this season’s Golden Boot race.

Not only that, but bet365 are paying out 1/4 odds on 4 places in the eachway market, so backing Vardy to be up there with the rest of the big hitters already looks a very shrewd move.

Check out the rest of our tips in our Premier League top goalscorer predictions here!

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