Claudio Ranieri may have led Leicester City to the Premier League title last season (yes, that did actually happen) but he is under no illusions as to what the aim for this season is….
40 points and survival in the PL.
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The veteran Italian manager, 64, was muttering about 40 points throughout last season as Leicester led the way but he didn’t want his staff and players to get ahead of themselves. That mindset worked a treat as they roared on to the club’s first-ever top-flight title in its 132-year history.
He’s at it again already as the Foxes prepare for their title defense as well as a first-ever season in the UEFA Champions League.
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Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport in his homeland, Ranieri wants the odds of a title repeat to be at 6000-1 instead of 5000-1 like they famously were last season.
“The basic concept is to start from scratch. We have won the title, we accomplished something perhaps unique, but now we turn the page. If at the beginning of last season the bookmakers quoted 5000-1 on our chances of the title, this time it’s 6000-1,”Ranieri said. “The goal to start with is the threshold of 40 points to survive. Then we will raise the bar: getting in the top 10, the Europa League, a place in the Champions League and maybe win a trophy from the five in which we will play.”
Ranieri’s pragmatic nature remains but with N’Golo Kante sold to Chelsea in the past few days, plus rumors of Riyad Mahrez on his way persisting, perhaps he really is being honest when he claims survival in the PL is the main aim.
Jamie Vardy signed a new deal and the Foxes have signed a handful of international players for modest sums as they continue to bolster their squad and add players more interested in a team-first work ethic rather than individuality.
So, what are the bookmakers odds in the UK for Leicester to win the title this season? With SkyBet they are 28-1 and seventh favorites with the bookies’ longest shots for the titles at 1000-1 this season after Leicester burned them badly.
More interestingly, Leicester are 11th favorites to get relegated. The bookies aren’t usually too far off the mark.
Then again, look at what Leicester did last season…