Wednesday was a nice break to the regular Leicester we’re used to seeing this season.
However, they did need extra time and two spectacular goals from WIlfred Ndidi and Demarai Gray to get by a Championship side in Derby County in the FA Cup, but this club forgot what it feels like to enjoy football. The cup win was a small consolation, and poises the Foxes to make a real run at the trophy.
You can’t underestimate a team when they get hot and what results they can string together. We saw it all last season en route to the title and the year before in the final games of the season as Leicester staved off relegation from an impossible position. With a win under their belts, an all-important six-pointer against Swansea this weekend and a Champions League Round of 16 first leg on the horizon, the Foxes have the opportunity to reverse their fortunes dramatically with a bit of momentum and luck going in their favor.
Four straight losses in the Premier League for Leicester goes against that story line, and Swansea know all about getting hot at the right time. Sacking Bob Bradley and notching three wins in their last five, including wins over Liverpool, Southampton and fellow relegation rivals Crystal Palace have moved them out of the bottom-three and given the club and manager Paul Clement a bit of fear factor.
Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson are both scoring at will and the set piece success from Swansea has been a big factor in their turnaround.
Claudio Ranieri rolled out wholesale changes for the Foxes in their win over Derby, including 75% of the back line and resting the likes of Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater. Algerian internationals Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani came on off the bench. If Leicester are to survive the drop they’ll need these guys to get hot and find some goals, which have severely been lacking... for about one whole month (or 450 minutes).
Leicester have still yet to win on the road in the Premier League this season, and what a time it would be to break that slide this weekend. It’s the last match between the two relegation rivals and could propel the Foxes into a good bit of form entering what is a crucial part of the season for the club.
A trip to Millwall the following weekend could earn the Foxes a spot in the FA Cup quarter-finals before the all-important Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Sevilla. A trip to Liverpool awaits them after the dust settles. Oh boy.