The Sports Archives – Leicester City Win the Premier League in 2016

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

Going back to the past 20 years, it is very rare for an upset to occur in the English Premier League. The nature of this soccer league means that a team can only come out on top if it has the most points at the end of 38 games – two games against every other team in the league. The nature of such a schedule means that one-off upsets, where an unfancied team beats the giant opposition, do not have much impact on the final league table.

It is with that knowledge that we can see why Leicester City’s triumph in the 2015/2016 English Premier League season, where they overcame 5000-1 odds at the start, is such a miraculous event.  You can overcome odds and make wagers on football and some of your other favorite sporting events from Betting Top 10.   If you had asked a million football fans who would win the league that season, not a single person would have predicted Leicester City. The 5000-1 odds, the longest ever achieved by a team in the Premier League, showcased that impossibility.

Only a handful of teams have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers are the only teams with that honor. Blackburn were similarly unfancied when they completed their win in 1994-1995. But that team did have some exceptional quality, and they were predicted as being a challenger before the season had started.

No such suggestions were made about Leicester City. The team had barely avoided relegation from the league the previous season. In fact, they had needed to go on an insane winning run at the end of the 2014-2015 season to secure their position in the league for the next season. And then they did the impossible just 12 months later – they were crowned champions.

Leicester’s triumph showed that you can win a top football league in the modern era without spending hundreds of millions on new players. It was a team put together on a budget, by a journeyman manager in Claudio Ranieri who had never won a league title in more than two decades of coaching. And yet new superstars emerged as a result of this triumph.

Leicester were led to the title by their top scorer in that season – Jamie Vardy. Another who no one could have predicted would be such a revelation, Vardy ended the season with 24 goals in the league. He even beat the record for scoring in successive games in the league – scoring goals in nine straight games.

Vardy was helped by another influential attacker, Egyptian Riyad Mahrez. Another unknown who established his profile that season, Mahrez was pivotal with 17 goals and countless assists. The team’s midfield was anchored by N’golo Kante, the French central midfielder who went on to win the league the following season with Chelsea. Old stalwarts Robert Huth and Wes Morgan held up the defense, and Leicester finished the season with TEN more points than their nearest rivals Arsenal.

It is a triumph that we may never see in the Premier League again. Leicester City shocked the football world that season, and completed a triumph even they would not have believed was possible.

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