2015/16 season preview: Leicester City

Leicester_City_crest.svgLeicester City pulled off an incredible escape from relegation last season and now with a new man charge,  the Foxes will hope to push on and avoid another basement battle. Are the Foxes up to the challenge or will it be second season syndrome?

Manager: Claudio Ranieri
Home ground: King Power Stadium
Last season: 14th
Highest EPL accolade: 8th (2000)

Star Man

Robert Huth previously played under Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea image: diegombelmonte.blogspot.com

Robert Huth previously played under Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea
image: diegombelmonte.blogspot.com

Coming to the King Power Stadium on January, Robert Huth proved to be an inspired signing by then boss Nigel Pearson as the former Stoke man helped Leicester pull off an incredible survival with a key role in the heart of the Leicester defence.

The 30-year-old brought years of Premier League experience with him to a very young and inexperience club that this level. He made 14 appearances during his loan spell helping the Foxes to seven victories in their final nine games, keeping five clean sheets in the process.

It looks like it will be another relegation scrap for Leicester this season and fans will hope that Huth continues his fine form from his loan spell and once again leads the Foxes clear of the drop.

Key Transfers

IN
Christian Fuchs (Schalke – Free), Robert Huth (Stoke – Undisclosed), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz – £7m), N’Golo Kante (Caen – £5.6m), Yohan Benalouane (Atalanta – Undisclosed)

OUT
Chris Wood (Leeds – Undisclosed), Paul Konchesky (QPR – Season loan), Ben Hamer (Nottingham – Season loan), Paul Gallagher (Preston – Free), Matthew Upson (MK Dons – Free), Esteban Cambiasso, Zoumana Bakayogo, Conrad Logan, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (all released)

One to Watch

Claudio Ranieri has plenty of attackers at his expense ahead of the new season from Andrej Kramaric, Leonardo Ulloa, David Nugent and Jamie Vardy, but new signing Shinji Okazaki could prove to men the Foxes main man up front this season.

Shinji Okazaki scored 27 league goals in two seasons at Mainz image: 101greatgoals.com

Shinji Okazaki scored 27 league goals in two seasons at Mainz
image: 101greatgoals.com

The 29-year-old forward made the switch from Mainz for £7m and in his four seasons in Germany, he became the most prolific Japanese footballer in Bundesliga history scoring 42 goals in 155 appearances for both Mainz and Stuttgart. His 43 international goals also makes his Japan’s third highest ever goalscorer.

If Okazaki hits the ground running and adapts to English life, there is no doubt he can continue his incredible goalscoring record and improve on his 12 league goals from last season. If he does just that, he will instantly become a Foxes’ favourite.

Best XI

Schmeichel

DeLaet     Morgan     Huth      Fuchs

 Mahrez     Kante     King     Schlupp

  Ulloa     Okazaki

Prediction: 18th

Leicester City were incredible towards the end of last season as former manager Nigel Pearson inspired them to come back from the blink of relegation and secure a 14th place finish.

Leicester won seven of their final nine games to clinch survival image: espnfc.com

Leicester won seven of their final nine games to clinch survival
image: espnfc.com

However, it has been a summer of change as former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri takes over the reigns at the East Midlands club following Pearson’s dismissal. Ranieri has spent a long time way from the Premier League and after his disastrous stint with Greece, has the Italian lost his touch.

Another blow for Leicester over the summer was the departure of Esteban Cambiasso which leaves their midfield looking quite inexperienced. I expect a few new faces before the deadline but in my opinion, I am not so sure Leicester can avoid the drop this season.

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