2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Leicester City

Premier League Final Position: 14th

Review

Leicester City produced arguably the greatest escape in Premier League history this season as they avoided relegation despite being seven points behind 17th placed Sunderland after 29 games, having also recorded just four wins at the time. The astonishing run of seven wins from their last nine games (D1, L1) will live long in the memory of Leicester fans and football fans alike as an emotional rollercoaster of a journey eventually concluded with them winning in fine style on the last day of the season to see them finish six points clear of the drop.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

The 3-2 win away at West Brom. The Foxes came into that after recording their first win in nine games at home to West Ham a week earlier and knew that they had to back it up with a positive result at The Hawthorns if they were to stand a chance of survival. Trailing 2-1 with ten minutes to go, it looked as though their season was all but over. But then a Robert Huth goal to draw it level, followed by an injury time winner from Jamie Vardy sent the away end into raptures. That was the moment that Leicester started to truly believe survival was a genuine possibility.

Worst Moment

Nigel Pearson holding Crystal Palace’s James McArthur by the throat during the 1-0 defeat at home to the Eagles. McArthur tangled in a challenge with Marc Albrighton on the touchline before accidentally falling onto Pearson and knocking the Leicester manager over. Pearson then proceeded to grab McArthur by the throat in a bizarre incident which led to speculation over his job and caused the club to be subjected to unnecessary negative media attention at a time when they needed it least.

Player of the Year

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Leonardo Ulloa – There were question marks over whether or not Ulloa could cut it in the Premier League after his move from Championship side Brighton in the summer, but he certainly delivered the goods with 11 goals and three assists from his 37 appearances.

Biggest Win

Leicester City 5-1 Queens Park Rangers (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City (Aug 23, 2014)

Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City (Sep 27, 2014)

Swansea City 2-0 Leicester City (Oct 25, 2014)

Southampton 2-0 Leicester City (Nov 8, 2014)

Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool (Dec 2, 2014)

West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City (Dec 20, 2014)

Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City (Jan 31, 2015)

Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City (Mar 4, 2015)

Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea (29 Apr, 2015)

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What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

While Leicester’s survival will be rightly heralded as a huge success, relegation was a major concern throughout the course of the whole season and that was obviously down to lack of successful results. Pearson made it cleat that he believed they were putting in the performances but not getting the results and bemoaned the luck of his side. But you have to make your own luck in football and four wins from the first 29 games cannot be blamed entirely on luck. The Foxes cannot afford to do the same next time around as relying on an incredible end-of-season run to retain Premier League status is a dangerous game to play and it’s unlikely they’d be able to pull it off again.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Burnley vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Burnley FC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: Turf Moor – Saturday April 25th – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Burnley 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – Leicester 9/5

Match Preview

It’s Burnley vs. Leicester in the Premier League and it’s crunch time at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon as two of the bottom three battle in a huge match with both clubs’ future surely on the line in this one.

Sean Dyches’ Burnley have been so resilient of late, and have picked up some very impressive results at home over the course of the season with a win over Manchester City and draws against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

They will be expecting to therefore beat lesser opposition in Leicester and the home fans will be expecting to win, especially as they beat champions Manchester City at Turf Moor last month. The win over the reigning champions is their only win in 12 games though – worrying form especially if you are staring down the barrel of relegation.

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With questions still surrounding Danny Ings future, and Burnley resigned to the fact they will lose their star striker come the summer, they will need to beat Leicester to remain in the Premier League for another season at least. That’s because next summer see’s the new TV deals come into effect and they will give clubs like Burnley some financial backing to do some business.

If Burnley can win this it could leave Leicester City in a bit of a mess and derail their own safety ambitions so this is a huge clash.

The Foxes won’t be easy customers as they have been very impressive of late, and if they play like they have in the last three, they will definitely remain in the Premier League next season.

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Leicester have given themselves a fantastic chance of escaping their bottom three by winning their last three on the spin and now only remain in the drop zone on goal difference behind Hull City. Another bonus is that they have a game in hand over their relegation rivals, but that is against Chelsea next week in a game the Blues can wrap up the title in, depending on their result against Arsenal.

The worrying form for Leicester is that they have only picked up 11 points from a possible 51 on the road this season. The away win at West Brom two weeks ago was their first since December.

Having scored seven in their last three games, Nigel Pearson’s side will be looking to keep hitting the back of the net, and outfox the Burnley backline to give themselves the best chance of survival.

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After this game for Leicester they face just one more away from home and will play at the King Power Stadium in their other four remaining games, which gives them another huge boost with regards to staying up.

The reverse saw the two sides battle out for a 2-2 draw with Ross Wallace equalising late in stoppage time for the Clarets to deny Leicester City all three points.

Team News

Burnley will be without Ashley Barnes, who was sent off against Everton last week, as he serves a one match ban, plus Dean Marney is out as is Kevin Long, who will be out until the Autumn.

Leicester City have doubts over David Nugent and Marcin Wasilewski, with Richie De Laet expected to come in if Wasilewski is ruled out of the relegation clash.

Key Points

Burnley’s last five: W/L/D/L/L

Leicester’s last five: D/L/W/W/W

Key Stats: Burnley have not beaten Leicester in any of their last eight meetings, stretching back to August 2010. They have lost their last three home games against the Foxes, scoring just once.

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Key Player: Leonardo Ulloa – The Argentine striker found his goalscoring touch against Swansea City last weekend and will be hoping to add to his tally of eight goals as he looks to try and reach double digits before the season is out.

Score Prediction

Burnley 1-2 Leicester City – Leicester City have some terrific quality and in the confidence they are in, they can inflict some serious damage to Burnley with goals coming from all angles. It’s difficult to see the Clarets keeping Leicester out and that could result in another win for the away side.

Leicester City doomed for the drop?

Newly promoted Leicester City are on the verge of a breakdown and their lack of goals recently is more than concerning.

As we all know, goals win games and having only managed to score six in their last eleven outings, it’s no surprise they haven’t managed a win in any of those eleven.

In fact, they have only managed to pick up two points out of a possible 33 since their 5-3 win against Manchester United back in September.

Since the win against United, Leicester’s record signing Leonardo Ulloa has only managed to score once, including a streak of nine games where he failed to score. He started life in the Premier League so brightly but he needs to recapture his form fast.

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The old saying ‘you’re only as good as your strikers’ is definitely apt for this Foxes squad. The constant rotation of the forwards must be confusing as Nigel Pearson juggles with attacking trio Jamie Vardy, David Nugent and Ulloa on a weekly basis.

Adding to the  current disarray at Leicester is the announcement that they have sacked their director for football, Terry Robinson, after 16 years at the club.

Their abysmal form has to be mainly put down to the lack of production from their attacking players, as the defence doesn’t look too frail. They just have a huge problem scoring as of late.

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The Foxes have a tough period ahead as well because over Christmas they have to lock horns with Tottenham, West Ham and relegation rivals Hull City in what is a crucial period. Being bottom of the Premier League at Christmas doesn’t bode well.

They have a tough task ahead of them in the New Year too and at this point it’s hard to see them finishing outside of the bottom three. Perhaps some consistency in selection up front will help give them a base to find some form. Strengthening in the January transfer window is also vital.

Will Leicester beat the odds and avoid the drop this season?