Leicester City defied all odds to win the 2015/16 Premier League Cup against all-time favorites: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City. The victory confirms there are no minnows in modern day football, and this makes the sport even more interesting.
However, football fans and analysts have been saddened by the sudden turn of events after expecting a repeat of last season’s magical run by Claudio Ranieri‘s men.
The Foxes are currently #15 in the Premier League table with only 21 points, but as the battle for this season’s EPL Cup enters its second phase, speculations are wide on which teams are considered favorites.
Chelsea are leading with 49 points; having won sixteen games, drawn one, and lost three. It has so far been a great run for Antonio Conte, the Italian coach and former Juventus manager who arrived Stamford Bridge last April on a 3-year contract.
Conte, 47, greatly transformed The Blues with superb transfer deals soon after he arrived England for a taste of Premier League action. Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante [formerly a Leicester City player] were signed within the manager’s first two weeks on the job. David Luiz was also brought back from PSG where he had a short stint.
The Blues applied a slow and steady approach as Conte tried out a disappointing 4-2-3-1 formation before making a permanent tactical shift to his latest 3-4-3 which many believe to be his new found strength.
Chelsea’s remarkable transformation has seen the Italian manager win a double EPL Manager of the Month for November, and December. Their 4-2 victory over Stoke City on 31 December was the club’s thirteenth consecutive win – a record previously held by Arsenal’s 2002 team.
In the early weeks of this 2016/17 season, Manchester City were favorites to the throne with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola stunning other EPL teams on his way to a 10-game undefeated run.
Unfortunately for City, a series of poor outings have seen them drop from #1 to #4 on the league table while Liverpool and Tottenham boldly grabbed the #2 and #3 positions respectively.
Chelsea, who won their last EPL Cup in the 2014/15 season, and are literally invincible at the moment but football analysts consider the Gunners a huge threat that shouldn’t be ignored.
Image: Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger‘s men are currently #5 in the league table with an 8-point gap from leaders, Chelsea. With a list of world class players, including some of the Premier League’s deadliest strikers – Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Lucas Perez, Alex Iwobi and more – Arsenal are capable of launching themselves to the top.
Tottenham Hotspur seem to be the most ignored team among the top five leaders.
Nonetheless, the Spurs won 2-0 against Chelsea in their 4 January fixture at White Hart Lane with Dele Ali punishing Conte’s team for negligence, and Leicester City proved last season that it’s not over until May, 2017.
Till then, let’s keep you entertained as The Blues mourn an end to their amazing 13-game undefeated run.