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Will Leicester City Repeat History and Win the 2020-21 English Premier League?

Five seasons ago, an ambition that many thought impossible was achieved in the English Premier League. Leicester City became champions of England.

To kick off the 2015-16 season, Leicester City’s preseason odds to win the EPL crown were 5,000-to-1. The Foxes weren’t just considered outsiders, they were regarded by all, apart from their most dedicated fans, as rank outsiders unlikely to even trouble the European places, let alone the summit.

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Nine months later, their title-winning squad was hailed as the greatest sports betting outsider the world of sport has ever seen.

At Odds Shark, how Leicester City won the EPL was looked at from a sports betting perspective, and while many consider the preseason odds to have been too large after the event, not altering them midseason might have been an even larger mistake.

Having changed managers three times since that famous title-winning team of 2015-16, how does the current crop of Foxes match up to their illustrious predecessors and what are Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL in the 2020-21 season?

Let’s take a look at Bovada’s current EPL title odds:

Odds to Win the 2020-21 EPL Title
Manchester City-120
Tottenham Hotspur+1200
Manchester United+2800
Aston Villa+6600
Leicester City+10000
Leeds United+12500
Wolverhampton Wanderers+15000
West Ham United+50000
Crystal Palace+100000
Newcastle United+100000
Sheffield United+100000
West Bromwich Albion+250000

Odds as of October 27 at Bovada

As you can see from those odds, Leicester is a very long price at +10000, which is only a tiny bit longer than they were when the season began, as they floated between +8000 and +10000.

Preseason Picks

Back in 2015-16, Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL were so long largely because they signed unknown players that we now know all too well. Christian Fuchs was signed from Schalke for nothing, Robert Huth made the trip from Stoke down to the East Midlands club for £3 million and the French central defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante came in from Ligue 2 side Caen for £5.6 million.

Just a year earlier, Leicester had raided Ligue 2 for Riyad Mahrez from Le Havre for just £450,000. Expert recruitment from a largely ignored division set Leicester’s recruitment apart from everybody else and paid dividends.

This season, Leicester’s preseason signings numbered just four, with the two first-team players brought in being Wesley Fofana for £30m from Saint-Etienne in France’s Ligue 1 and Timothy Castagne for £21m from Atalanta in Italy’s Serie A. At just 19 and 24, the Foxes have once again bought young, hungry players, mirroring the recruitment from their title-winning season.

The Start of the Season

Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL started this season roughly where they are now at +10000, but we’d argue that they should already have been shortened. In the 2015-16 season, Leicester took 12 points from their first six games, winning three and drawing three.

Fast-forward to this 2020-21 season and Leicester City’s EPL odds remain the same, possibly because of the remarkable similarity. The Foxes have taken exactly the same number of points (12) from their opening half-dozen fixtures, with this season’s side one goal better off in terms of goal differential.

The only major difference from this season to the one when Leicester won the title is that in 2015, the Foxes had by this stage only been awarded one penalty which they converted. Leicester City’s odds to win the English Premier League might well be trimmed if they continue earning penalties at their current pace, with five in six games to date during the present campaign.

Opponents to Watch Out For

Which Premier League sides should Leicester be wary of in trying to win the title this time around? Well, Leicester’s odds to win the EPL are likely to be affected very specifically by Liverpool. Not only is the Merseyside club the reigning champion from the extended 2019-20 EPL season, but they are something of a bogey side to Leicester’s former manager Brendan Rodgers, who has yet to beat his former side since leaving Anfield for Celtic.

Liverpool triumphed 2-1 against Leicester City early in the 2019-20 season with a last-minute Sadio Mane tumble earning the Reds a hotly debated penalty. That win for Liverpool was followed by a 4-0 thrashing at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day of 2019, so it’s against Liverpool that Leicester will be focusing their efforts this year if they are to remain in the title race.

At present, Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL are generous and are at least worth a flutter with six matches gone. Everton sits top of the table but was humbled in a very unconvincing 2-0 loss at Southampton. Aston Villa and Liverpool sit ahead of Leicester by very little distance and both have been soundly beaten already in the Premier League.

Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL could also be heavily affected by their performances against Manchester City this season. Two years ago, Vincent Kompany’s strike was enough to seal the title for the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium. In Leicester’s title-winning season, Riyad Mahrez dancing through the City team – a team he would go on to join from Leicester in a £61m deal – was one of the iconic moments of that magical title-winning year for the Foxes.

How Leicester performs in the big matches is going to be key for them, but they could hardly have gotten off to a better start, with Leicester’s thumping 5-2 win away to Manchester City just a fortnight ago signposting Leicester’s intent in emphatic fashion.

If there is one issue for Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL that could impact the first half of their Premier League season, it might be the injuries that continue to ravage a squad that has had to cope with losses to their roster for over six months now.

With Ricardo Pereira missing since March, a lengthy spell on the sidelines for James Maddison at the end of last season has been added to by both Wilfried Ndidi and Caglar Soyuncu suffering debilitating knocks this season. With both men expected to be out until after Christmas, how Leicester performs until they have their full squad available may well be the defining factor in their season.

We’ll be back to update you on exactly how the Foxes fare throughout the 2020-21 season and to see if they can shock the football world again, although Leicester City’s odds to win the EPL may never reach the epic 5,000-to-1 shots they were back in the 2015-16 EPL season.