Leicester City 2019-20 season preview

Established: 1884
Stadium: King Power Stadium
Location: Leicester (east Midlands of England)
Head Coach: Brendan Rodgers
Nickname: The Foxes
Rival(s): Nottingham Forest, Derby County
Top-Division Titles: 1 (2015-16)

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Best possible XI:

Schmeichel
Pereira
Morgan
Evans
Chilwell
Ndidi
Tielemans
Gray
Maddison
Barnes
Vardy

Key arrivals: Youri Tielemans (AS Monaco), Ayoze Perez (Newcastle United), James Justin (Luton Town), Dennis Praet (Sampdoria)

Key departures: Harry Maguire (Man United), Shinji Okazaki (Free, Malaga), Danny Simpson (Released)

Ranking their offseason: Leicester’s offseason has been dominated by one question: Will Harry Maguire stay? The England international has become the most-expensive defender in the world with Man United paying $100 million for him, leaving a huge hole in Leicester’s defense. But, even though Brendan Rodgers will lose Maguire it’s not the end of the world. They have the likes of Benkovic and others ready to step in to compete with Evans and Morgan. Rodgers had a huge impact in the final months of last season after he arrived and the addition of Tielemans and Perez strengthens their already deep squad. Jamie Vardy will be their main man but the likes of Harvey Barnes, Tielemans and Demarai Gray will all play key roles this season. Leicester are a young team which has put aside the uncertainty around Maguire to focus on getting ready for a season where they hope to finish in the top six. 6/10

Star player: With Maguire leaving, top goalscorer Jamie Vardy has to be the main man. His goals have been instrumental for the Foxes and although many thought Rodgers’ arrival would see him pushed out of the team, Vardy, now 32, shows no signs of slowing down. Tielemans will be very important this season, so too will Jonny Evans in defense, but Vardy’s 15-20 goals a season will see the Foxes threaten the established top six.

Coaches’ Corner: Rodgers gets plenty of criticism for some of things he says, but on the pitch you cannot deny that every team he coaches is good to watch. Leicester were superb in the second half of last season and Rodgers has had an entire preseason to drill home his ideology. It was a wrench for him to leave Celtic and he wouldn’t have done so unless he thought the Foxes could push into the top six. This young squad has the potential to do just that, and with Rodgers in charge they would do it in style.

PST predicts: Massive season for the Foxes, as Vardy probably has one more big campaign left in the tank. The midfielders and attacker behind him, plus full backs Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell, will provide plenty of chances to score. With the rebuilding going on with some of the PL giants, this feels like the year that Leicester can get back into the top six. A big FA Cup and League Cup run alongside that would do very nicely for Rodgers.

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