Where Will Leicester City Finish Next Season?
May 13, 2016
As the dust settles on Leicester City’s incredible title win, thoughts are already turning towards next season and the Foxes’ defence of their crown. Not only must Leicester face the backlash from their big-spending rivals, but they will also need to juggle domestic and European campaigns.
Interestingly, a simulation conducted on the popular game Football Manager has predicted a respectable seventh place finish for the Foxes last season. How this would be received by the fans is unclear, but the fact remains that nobody knows quite what to expect from Leicester next season.
The Future for Leicester and their immediate challenges
Certainly the bookmakers are unclear, with the odds of various scenarios suggesting that no set of circumstances can be considered unlikely for Claudio Ranieri’s men. They are 33/1 to reclaim their title, for example, and 5/1 to finish in the top four. Conversely, Leicester are also 15/8 to finish in the bottom half and just 25/1 to be relegated, meaning that the bookmakers are erring on the side of a decline during 2016/17.
While this may seem harsh, this perception has more to do with Leicester’s rivals than the Foxes themselves. Pep Guardiola is set to take over as the new manager of Manchester City, with the Spaniard having been promised a war chest in the region of £300 million to spend. Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool may also spend in the region of £200 million, as the EPL’s traditional elite look to re-enforce their dominance.
Although the Foxes will have funds of their own to spend, they cannot hope to compete with their more illustrious rivals. In addition to this, they will also be preoccupied with holding on to their star performers, with the trio of N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and talisman Jamie Vardy particularly coveted. With clubs such as Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester United linked with these stars respectively, there are huge concerns that the Foxes’ squad will stripped of its quality prior to the new season.
Our prediction for Leicester in 2016/17
With these points in mind, Leicester may well be happy with a seventh place finish (despite their achievements in lifting the title this term). They must approach the challenges at hand in a structured and considered manner, however, starting by securing the services of their top players for at least another season. If they achieve this, they can build for the future and establish themselves as more than a one season wonder.
At Bethut, however, we feel as though seventh place may be unrealistic. The Foxes have performed incredibly well this season but have benefited from a perfect storm in the EPL, and the leading clubs are sure to emerge much stronger next time out. With Leicester’s style also likely to be targeted by their rivals, the Foxes may struggle to sustain their momentum and claim a top-half finish.