The Premier League title race is entering the final sprint as Leicester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all battle it out for top spot.
All, apart from Manuel Pellegrini’s side, who have a game in hand, have to play just nine more fixtures before the trophy is hoisted high above someone’s head.
The Foxes are currently in the driving seat after opening up a five-point gap between themselves and second-placed Tottenham.
Spurs, the Gunners and the Blues will now all be hoping Claudio Ranieri’s men drop points from now until the end of the season, but bearing in mind they’ve only lost three Premier League games all campaign, is this realistic?
talkSPORT takes a look at where Leicester City could drop points in their title run-in…
Leicester City v Newcastle United – Monday, March 14
With the Magpies’ current plight it’s highly unlikely the Foxes will drop points at the King Power Stadium. It’s more probable it will be Steve McClaren’s last game in charge of the Toon.
Crystal Palace v Leicester City – Saturday, March 19
Another team hopelessly out of form are next up for Ranieri’s side as they travel to south London to take on the Eagles. Alan Pardew will be doing everything to turn around his side’s form but it might not be enough to stop their table-topping opponents.
Leicester City v Southampton – Sunday, April 3
After an upturn in form upon Fraser Forster’s return to the first-team following an injury, the Saints’ form is now back to being indifferent. Ronald Koeman’s side are capable of getting a result but currently lack firepower having failed to score more than once since January 16 in a 3-0 win over West Brom.
Sunderland v Leicester City – Sunday, April 10
The effects of Sam Allardyce’s arrival have been evident at the Stadium of Light and the Foxes will be facing a different side to the one they beat 4-2 on the opening day of the season. Stoic defensively and getting goals thanks to the resurgent Jermain Defoe, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Black Cats got something from the match.
Leicester City v West Ham – Sunday, April 17
The Hammers have got a top four charge of their own to think about as they look to end their time at Upton Park with a bang but Leicester City have already beaten Slaven Bilic’s side twice this season, so the Croatian may want to rethink his tactics if he wants to get one over on Ranieri. This will be a close match but given West Ham’s propensity for getting results against the top teams this season it could end in defeat for the Foxes.
Leicester City v Swansea City – Sunday, April 24
The appointment of an Italian manager appears to be one of the most inspired of the season. We’re not talking about Ranieri, we’re talking about Francesco Guidolin. The Jacks have only lost two of his eight games in charge and as they fight their way out of the relegation battle could also strike a blow to Leicester’s title hopes.
Manchester United v Leicester City – Sunday, May 1
A 1-1 draw between these two sides in November saw Jamie Vardy break the Premier League record for most consecutive scoring matches, as he hit 13 goals in 12 matches. The Red Devils have been hit and miss all season and this match really could go either way.
Leicester City v Everton – Sunday, May 7
Without wishing to put the mockers on it, this should be a cracking match as the Toffees, in their role as the division’s ‘entertainers’, strut into town. Impressive in attack but occasionally comical at the back, Everton will ensure this match is at the very least a goalfest. Leicester City’s title rivals will be banking on Romelu Lukaku wearing his shooting boots.
Chelsea v Leicester City – Sunday, May 15
Last day of the Premier League season and the Foxes have an intriguing match with the Blues. If Guus Hiddink’s side are unable to fight for a top four spot (they’re ten points behind Man City right now), supporters may well be happy for their side to lose and deny London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal the title. The fact popular former boss Ranieri is manager will only further this idea but, remember, Liverpool had the chance to roll over and let the legendary Kenny Dalglish and his Blackburn team win their last game of the 1994/95 season but went onto beat them 2-1, although, luckily for Rovers, Man United could only draw with West Ham, handing them glory. The reigning champions could well be this season’s kingmakers.
How do you think Leicester City will do in their final nine Premier League games? Comment below and let us know…