A tough start for the champions?

The 2015/16 Premier League Champions Leicester face a tough start to their first title defence, in their first ten games they face five potential title rivals.

Their first ten fixtures for Leicester are:

13 August – Hull City vs Leicester

20th August – Leicester vs Arsenal

27th August – Leicester vs Swansea

10th Sept – Liverpool vs Leicester

17th Sept – Leicester vs Burnley

24th Sept – Man United vs Leicester

1st October – Leicester vs Southampton

15th October – Chelsea vs Leicester

22nd October – Leicester vs Crystal Palace

29th October – Spurs vs Leicester

The key dates

20th August – Leicester vs Arsenal

The first game at The King Power sees last year’s top 2 come against each other. Last season, Arsenal won both fixtures, 5-2 at The King Power and 2-1 at The Emirates Stadium. Despite this fixture being far too early into the season to be a title decider, it will certainly be an entertaining clash, as Leicester will likely want to prevent Arsenal from having the opportunity to do the double over them for a second consecutive season. There will also be an impact on both teams mentality. If Arsenal beat Leicester then they will feel they will be able to go one further than last season and if Leicester win then they feel more positively that they will be able to retain their crown.

Arsenal were the only team to do the double over Leicester last season.

10th September – Liverpool vs Leicester

Liverpool have made several big money signings this summer including Sadio Mané and Georginio Wjinaldum. They will be looking to mount their first title challenge since the 13/14 season and as a minimum secure a place in Europe. There is no better way for Liverpool to show their title credentials than to beat the current champions, which is what Liverpool will be hoping for. Last season, Liverpool were the only other team to beat Leicester which was in a 1-0 win at Anfield, a result Leicester will be hoping to avenge.

24th September – Man United vs Leicester

Manchester United haven’t won the league title since 2013, and now under José Mourinho, they will be hoping to reach the Champions League places as a minimum. With big signings such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan adding to United’s squad, there is a reason why they are one of the favourites to win the league. United already showed their title credentials by beating the champions in the community shield and Leicester will be looking for revenge. Last season both games ended up in a 1-1 draw.

Man United beat Leicester 2-1 in the charity shield.

15th October – Chelsea vs Leicester

The 2014/15 champions are under new stewardship in the form of eccentric Italian Antonio Conte and they will be looking to regain their title. The first step towards that would be beating the team who took their crown! Chelsea have a lot of impetus to win this game, as they failed to beat them last season in both meetings. One way to show Chelsea are over last season’s nightmare and credentials would be to beat the current champions. Leicester also have an added impetus to win this game. With N’Golo Kante moving to West London, Leicester will be eager to prove that he made the wrong decision. I believe that this game will be a very tactical game, with both sides having master tacticians of the same nation and could potentially be one of the games of the season!

Chelsea will be looking to avenge their title defence woes.

29th October – Spurs vs Leicester

Spurs were chasing Leicester at the very end of last season until they let a 2-0 lead slip at Stamford Bridge. With two of their star players from the previous season – Alli and Kane – performing disappointingly at the Euro’s, they will likely be up to redeem themselves for their Euro disappointment and also be determined to go further than they did last season. Spurs were pipped by Arsenal to second place last season and will be looking to end their trophy-less drought by winning the league. In this fixture last season, Leicester snatched a win in the very last minute through a Robert Huth header, and Spurs will be hoping to avenge their disappointment from last season.

Leicester face all of their potential title rivals with the exception of Man City in their first ten fixtures and whilst there are doubts that Leicester will be able to retain their crown, if they come through these fixtures positively, then who knows what could happen…?

This article was written by – @bentippermcfc



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