Leicester City — they of the league-best 50 points, PL record-holding goal scorer, and complete lack of expectations — is finally saying it out loud.
They can win the league.
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With 14 games to go, the Foxes have a three-point lead on No. 2 Man City and the chance to extend that league to four or six this weekend. They lead Nos. 3 and 4 by five points, and have a whopping 10-point advantage on fifth place.
— After consecutive trips to Man City and Arsenal, Leicester will not play a current Top Four team in its final 12 games.
— Both of their following two games, which will be played with four days, are at home to strugglers Norwich and West Brom.
— Man City has a minimum of four matches remaining outside the Premier League, including a pair with Dynamo Kyiv, a League Cup final versus Liverpool and the FA Cup fifth round tie with Chelsea.
— Arsenal and Spurs have at least three matches left outside the PL.
Then there’s the things that have nothing to do with the schedule. Leicester isn’t feeling any pressure. Despite leading the league on Feb. 2, no one would bat an eye or blame them if they failed.
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So they’ll keep planning on, you know, not failing.
Claudio Ranieri: “We are free of pressure. The players have a good feeling.”
And here’s the best name in the game, Danny Drinkwater: “Every player in this team is working their socks off. It’s not a coincidence we’re top of the table. This is team spirit at its highest. We won’t stop believing. We’re staying on the ground but if we carry on the way we are then why not have the belief [to win the league]? It would go down in history surely.”
Around Christmas, I thought there was little chance Leicester would survive a brutal festive stretch. They did. I’ve seen Man City play cold before thanks to mercurial Yaya Toure and the injury troubles of Vincent Kompany.
Arsenal refuses to seize this league and seemingly has history in its rear view mirror, while Spurs are arguably as unproven as Leicester when it comes to fighting for the No. 1 spot.
So, really, at this point… why not?