Leicester City Season Preview for 2019/20 With Odds and Predictions
One of the most interesting teams in the English Premier League last season was Leicester City. After a tough start of the campaign and some changes, the team flourished towards the end of the year under Brendan Rodgers.
The Northern Irish manager was able to change the style in a couple of months. It’s exciting to see what happens if he is given the resources to buy the proper players.
I would say that the 2019-2020 season might be big for Leicester, but more about that later. I will review the previous campaign first before sharing my predictions for the future.
Of course, I will also explore the different betting markets for next season, courtesy of our recommended online bookmakers.
Leicester City 2018-19 Season Review
The atmosphere surrounding Leicester City at the start of the season suggested this might not be the best campaign. There were serious doubts about the position of the manager Claude Puel for a number of reasons.
Many of the supporters believed that his tactics were too negative. To be fair, I believe that the players he inherited and the style they were used to gave him little choice.
The team was set to play counter-attacking soccer and sit deep for most of the games. Despite the tension around Puel, the results were decent up to the end of 2018. Leicester was in the middle of the table, where the team pretty much belongs.
However, the side went on a streak of six games without a win in the English Premier League, losing five of them. While the fixture list wasn’t kind to Leicester in that period, a 4-1 defeat at home against Crystal Palace was a step too far.
Claude Puel finally lost his job, and this seemed like a risky decision at the time. The question was if the board had a plan, and it seems like it did.
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers relished the opportunity to return to the English Premier League. He left Celtic to take over Leicester and instantly decided to change the style of the team.
If I have to be honest, I expected a lot of struggles by the end of the campaign. Instead, the players quickly adapted to the ideas of the new manager and started keeping the ball more. That helped them limit the chances of the opposition and create more themselves.
Leicester City finished the EPL season on a high, and Jamie Vardy found his form once again in the closing stages of the campaign.
For a moment, it seemed like Leicester might actually finish in the seventh position and win a place in the Europa League. I feel this would’ve been too early, so it’s better that the Foxes were actually ninth at the end.
That gives Rodgers a good opportunity to install his ideas next season without the distractions of European soccer. Let’s remember that the qualifications start in July, which would’ve disrupted the preparations for the new season.
To conclude this section, I should probably mention what happened in the domestic cups. Leicester was knocked out early in the FA Cup but managed to reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
Unfortunately for the Foxes, they had to face Manchester City. The team pushed the reigning champions to the limit and reached the penalty shootouts but lost eventually.
What Leicester Needs This Summer
The evolution of Brendan Rodgers is starting, so the summer ahead will be busy. Before the arrival of the Northern Irishman, the team was used to playing a conservative style that relied on Vardy’s pace on the counter.
If you look at the teams that Rodgers has managed in the past, it’s certain that he will try to change the whole approach. In fact, that’s what he did at the end of this season, and it worked surprisingly well, considering the personnel.
However, the manager will need more players that are suited to such a style to succeed. I will get to that in a bit, as I prefer to start with the current squad.
The big star of the team in 2018-2019 was James Maddison. The youngster had seven goals and seven assists, but the most impressive stat is that he was the only guy in the EPL that created more than 100 chances during the season.
Maddison’s performance brought the attention to a bunch of big clubs, most notably Manchester United. The Red Devils are keen to acquire the services of the attacking midfielder, but it seems like he prefers to stay in Leicester for at least one year.
I would say that he is the only core player that is under some doubt. The likes of Vardy, Schmeichel, and the other leaders are almost certainly staying.
That’s good news for the manager, as he has a backbone with plenty of experience in the English Premier League. Let’s not forget that many of the guys were here when Leicester sensationally won the title a couple of years ago.
If we assume that Maddison does stay, he will be the cornerstone of the manager’s plans. Rodgers will need to find some help, though, so probably a couple of changes in the midfield and at least another forward are required. A lot of the current players won’t fit his strategy.
Selling several squad members to clear space and generate funds for reinforcements will be the smart strategy. The likes of Rachid Ghezzal, Nampalys Mendy, and Kelechi Iheanacho will almost certainly leave, so that should bring the Foxes some cash.
If they use it wisely, I feel that the side might be one of the surprises of the 2019-2020 season.
Leicester City Betting Odds for 2019-2020
Let’s try to check what the betting odds say and if there are any good outright wagers related to the Leicester performance for the 2019-2020 season.
I will start with the English Premier League, as I believe that online betting site 888sport offers a great option. You can back Leicester City to finish in the top ten for the price of 1.65. The odds might seem low on the surface, but let’s try to analyze the chances of the Foxes.
The club can’t compete with the Big 6, so that leaves four spots. The only teams that finished above Leicester are Wolverhampton and Everton. The Toffees have the stronger side on paper, but they were very inconsistent last year.
As for the Wolves, I would normally expect them to finish above Leicester, but they will play in the Europa League. The extra games and the early qualifications will harm the side’s chances.
I would say that Leicester is on par with both teams and ahead of the rest of the league. The likes of West Ham and Crystal Palace will be a threat, with Bournemouth potentially attacking the top 10 too, but that’s it.
The Foxes will have to beat three out of the five teams I mentioned, and that’s a completely realistic target. Especially at the price of 1.65, I believe it’s an exceptional pick.
Other Domestic Competitions
With Rodgers at the helm, I see Leicester City as a tough opponent in the other domestic competitions. If the team has a bit of luck in the draw, it might actually have a deep run both in the FA Cup and the League Cup.
I’m not sure if it’s realistic for the Foxes to win any of them, but the price of 35.00 or so is pretty good. It makes Leicester City an excellent choice if you combine it with another bet on some of the favorites.
2019-2020 has the potential to be really exciting for the Leicester City fans. Brendan Rodgers is a manager that could elevate the club to another level. It seems like the board and the supporters are on his side.
However, the recent couple of seasons have shown that Leicester is not among the most patient clubs. A lot of managers were sacked rather quickly. If Rodgers doesn’t start the season well, he might be under pressure.
The summer is the key to success, and the manager needs to be smart. The good news is that he was able to lay the groundwork for the future in the previous campaign.
What do you think about Leicester and their chances? Let me know in the comments below.