Leicester is back after a decade away, and have enlisted a pair of players with PL experience in Matthew Upson and Marc Albrighton to help calm the team’s nerves, while adding Brighton’s potent striker Leonardo Ulloa to help in the fight to stay in the flight. Can Nigel Pearson keep his club up in the Premier League?
[RELATED: Full PL season preview]
Transfers In: Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton), Matthew Upson (Brighton), Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa)
Transfers Out: Zak Whitbread (Derby County)
Last season: Leicester won the Championship by nine points to secure promotion with relative ease, but the Foxes face plenty of challenges in replicating their 83-goal success in the Premier League. Leicester posted a plus-40 goal differential and lost just six games in England’s second tier.
Star player: Kasper Schmeichel
The goalkeeper is important to any survival push, and Schmeichel is a good one. Four times capped for the Danish international team, Peter’s son is athletic and capable. Kasper has signed an extension with the Foxes through 2018 after his performances in the Championship earned him plenty of transfer rumors. Manchester United and AC Milan were among those rumored to pursue his services in January, but his future’s in Leicester.
Coaches’ Corner: Nigel Pearson
Pearson has plenty of experience with clubs now in the Premier League — he was boss at Southampton and Hull City — but this will be his first time as a full-time boss in the top flight. Also a former caretaker boss at Newcastle and the English U-21 team, Pearson is an adequate manager who will get the chance to take his profile to the next level. The Championship’s manager of the year, Pearson enjoyed a 17-year playing career between Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough.
PST predicts: Leicester will face a season-long fight to stay in the PL, and it will take nearly every trick in the book to stay up. Pearson is well-suited to the task, and uses his hard-nosed mentality, to keep the Foxes in the hunt. With a couple key January transfers to aid in the fight, big money Leicester tips enough games to go into the Survival Sunday with a chance… and emerges with its top flight status in tact.