Assessing Leicester City's Premier League Credentials
With 14 games remaining before the conclusion of the turbulent 2013/14 season, Leicester City find themselves a comfortable eight points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship. This is a dominance maintained in their impressive run of 13 league games unbeaten, and substantiates what many believe to be their imminent and overdue return to the top flight of English football. But how would this current Leicester City squad fare with the unforgiving pressure of the Barclay’s Premier League next season?
Recent encounters with Premier League opposition have provided Nigel Pearson with an awkward introduction to the realities of life in the world’s most competitive division. Having lost 3-1 to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup in December, swiftly followed by a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City in the FA Cup in January, Leicester City will be under no illusions as to the colossal task of adjusting to the intensity of the Premier League.
But it is not all entirely hopeless for a Leicester City side who have a healthy dose of Premier League pedigree permeating their ranks. Taking City’s squad from this weekend’s 3-0 victory over Ipswich at the King Power Stadium, they have undeniable quality throughout. Former Manchester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel anchors the Leicester rearguard with support from the likes of ex-Liverpool left back Paul Konchesky; players whose comprehensive experience undoubtedly nurtures the outstanding talent of younger stars such as England U21s Liam Moore.
City top scorer and target man David Nugent equally has a number of relatively successful Premier League seasons under his belt from his time with Portsmouth, as well as a brief moment of international recognition for England in the qualifying stages of Euro 2008. Such experience would invariably be a massive positive for a newly-promoted Leicester. But success would more significantly depend upon the continued success of key players such as Jamie Vardy and Anthony Knockaert, who though shine in the vigour of the Championship are as yet unproven in the higher echelons of the Premier League.
Indeed, it goes without saying that promotion would ultimately generate a significant level of income and subsequently instigate a high order of transfer activity as befitting of any team looking to adjust to a higher level of performance. Yet Leicester City have a great foundation of young players and more experienced veterans who have shown throughout the entirety of this season that they are capable of playing expressive, commanding, and, most significantly, winning football. Few teams in the Championship withhold the consistency and stability of a Leicester City who almost certainly have the ability to compete should they achieve the promotion they seemingly deserve.
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