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After their unexpected title in the 2015/16 season, the ‘Foxes’ are again in a leading role in the English League with a young and dynamic team that is third in the table and imposes itself as the main alternative to Liverpool and Manchester City.
Leicester City is doing it again. If the title of the 2015/16 campaign rises as the most important moment in the history of the East Midlands club, the current season has begun in a great way with a young and dynamic team that occupies the third place of the Premier League and imposes itself as the main alternative to two giants like Liverpool and Manchester City.
The 0-9 win against Southampton on the last league fixture returned the 'Foxes' to the front page of the sports news all over the world, but that victory -the largest as a visitor in the history of English football- completes a start of a campaign that is even better than the one that led Claudio Ranieri’s team to conquer the English League for the first time.
After 10 games, the team today led by Brendan Rodgers has achieved 6 wins, two draws and two losses, which translates into 20 points, one more than the champion team in the same number of matches. Thus, Leicester trails City by two points and the leader Liverpool by eight, and leaves behind other powerful teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United or Tottenham.
Some key pieces remain from the champion side such as the goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, midfielder Marc Albrighton and striker Jamie Vardy, all of whom are around 30 years old and lead with their experience a younger team that in recent years has lost key pieces like N'Golo Kanté, Riyad Mahrez or Harry Maguire.
But Leicester has managed to rebuild a squad that currently has an average of 25 years of age and that has opted for young talent both from their youth academy like Chilwell (22) or Barnes (21) and in the form of signings such as Söyüncü (23), Tielemans (22) or Maddison (22), the great breakout of the Premier League in the last two seasons.
In addition to the names, Rodgers' bet is clear and radically opposed to Ranieri's. If under the command of the Italian, Leicester conquered the title being the third team with less possession (42.43% on average) and fewer passes given (352 per game), the Northern Irish coach has managed to impose a much more attractive style.
Currently the 'Foxes' are the third team with more possession (58.6%) and the fourth with more completed passes (543 per game), and they are also the second side with more scored goals (25) and less conceded (8).
The praises are already coming from the highest spheres. "Their game is exciting, fresh, they defend well, their midfielders are strong and know how to play. They are creative and their counterattacks, a threat. They will fight to be in the top 4," said Jürgen Klopp, while Pep Guardiola also surrendered to Leicester: "They are well coordinated and have incredible speed and quality," the City coach completed.
"The challenge is to return to Europe," says Rodgers, whose team is also in the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup after beating Burton Albion 1-3 on Tuesday, and his words seem accurate for a team that plays without fear and that has left behind the uncertainty of the last seasons to regain a well-deserved spot in the top positions of the Premier League.
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