With the right man in charge and after an excellent start to the season, Leicester can easily finish Top Four says Jamie Pacheco.
Leicester City are currently third in the table on 20 points, just two behind Manchester City and ahead of Chelsea on goal difference.
The fancy prices of around 20.00 before the start of the season that they'd make the Top Four have gone and it's now 'just' 2.60 that they secure a Champions League spot. Or should that be: they're 'still' 2.60?
In a season where most of the big guns have plenty of problems of their own while Leicester go about their merry way, this could well be the season where it's not going to take anything Herculean from the Foxes to secure a Top Four finish.
Rodgers perfectly pulling the strings
The appointment of Brendon Rodgers back in February 2019 may prove to be a masterstroke. He's been in the management game for 15 years now and will have learnt plenty from the six previous appointments, ranging from helping Swansea become the first Welsh club to be promoted to the Premier League to guiding Watford to safety from relegation from the Championship to, of course, that near-miss with Liverpool.
Tactically, he's more astute than Claudio Ranieri was (the manager in charge when Leicester actually won the title), he's regarded as one of the best man-managers in the game and his style of slick passing and pressurising the opposition when not in possession of the ball suits the team and the players he has. He has it all to take this team far.
Strongest squad in the Premier League era
You could easily make a case for this being Leicester's best-ever squad in the Premier League era, stronger and deeper than when they won the league. There's no Riyad Mahrez anymore of course and Harry Maguire (not actually part of that title-winning squad) was always going to be a hard man to replace but look at some of their options.
Ben Chilwell is very much a contender to be England's starting left-back at Euro 2020, right-back Ricard Pereira recently broke into Portugal's side, centre-back Jonny Evans has seen it all before in this league while all-action midfielder Youri Tielemans regularly starts matches for the ever-impressive Belgium.
Out went Maguire for £80 million, a world-record for a defender, and in came Turkish enforcer Caglar Soyuncu for just under a quarter of that, with some Leicester fans feeling they're not necessarily that worse off.
Jamie and James
Sometimes in football as a manager you're lucky enough to get to oversee a match made in heaven: Yorke and Cole, Shearer and Sheringham, Vardy and Maddison.
The evergreen Jamie Vardy dreams of slide-pass rule balls and chips over the top to run onto while James Maddison is more than happy to oblige. Madison will surely be a permanent fixture for England in years to come in that all-important Number 10 role but for the time being, he's already doing it at the King Power Stadium. Their understanding is brilliant, with Vardy also pretty content to feed Maddison himself in a role-reversal. Between them they have 12 goals and four assists in the league.
Not much to beat
Liverpool and Man City look in a class of their own and are almost guaranteed to take the Top Two but the usual suspects have plenty of clouds hanging over them. Tottenham's problems have been well-documented: the end of a cycle, a manager who didn't get the players he wanted nor did he sell the ones he didn't want and as a result, a few problem positions.
Arsenal are in chaos despite a respectable points tally. No-one seems to know how Unai Emery wants to play while senior players are either out of form, not even being considered or publicly showing displays of dissent towards their manager.
Manchester United are too inconsistent at present, while there are concerns about who other than Marcus Rashford, or to a lesser extent Anthony Martial, can score enough goals for them.
West Ham look decent but it's a big ask to be aiming for a Top Four finish with a squad several notches below the ones we're mentioning while Everton, who can compete in terms of playing resources, have already dropped too many points, keep losing momentum and simply concede too many goals.
That leaves Chelsea, who have already progressed massively under Frank Lampard with a refreshing brand of attacking football featuring exciting youngsters like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and the returning Callum Hudson-Odoi. They may well finish third if Lampard can keep on improving them in defence but Leicester look like they have less issues to deal with than the other contenders.
Kind fixtures coming up
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Leicester this season is to hold their own against the so-called Big Six. So far they beat Tottenham at home, drew 1-1 away at Chelsea but lost at Old Trafford and Anfield. They'll need to at least carry on avoiding defeat against that lot but if they do, they might be home and dry because they've had little trouble beating teams who are considerably below them in the table.
And if you're going to back Leicester, now is the time to do it. Over their next seven matches they play two promoted sides, perennial relegation strugglers Brighton and the under-achieving Watford. Only Arsenal in just over a fortnight look a side to be worried about but the way things are going, you'd expect them to win that anyway. Then it gets tough with Man City away and Liverpool at home in consecutive weeks but say 15 points from those next seven matches and they'll have every chance of that Top Four finish.