I was a tiny bit down on Leicester City, heading into the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Sevilla. We at the Fosse Posse were worried about embarrassment and hoping to just not lose too badly and we weren't alone among fans in feeling that way.
We also got exactly what we hoped for. Leicester lost, but it was a confidence builder. They looked stronger, more committed and, possibly most importantly, Jamie Vardy scored. He was a man in so much need of a confidence boost and he got one.
There’s been some down since then, of course, but things are really looking up at the moment. The sky seems a little clearer and bluer over Leicester right now and there are real, genuine reasons to be hopeful that the Foxes can win this one and move on to an outrageous quarter finals appearance.
- Recent results
Yes, it’s only been two games, but things are really looking up under Craig Shakespeare. Liverpool and Hull City are two very different teams, with wildly differing styles, but both were comfortably put away in performances so reminiscent of last year.
2. Jamie Vardy
Whether it’s goals or assists, Jamie Vardy makes this team tick. Not just at that end, either. His effort and energy are so clear throughout and he drags the whole team behind him. He’s playing great and that can only be a good thing.
3. Home form
Most of the focus this year has been on how bad our away form has been. The opposite side of that coin is that we’ve won 11 of 19 home games this year. It’s not ideal but not a terrible record either.
This one’s a bit more speculative and hopeful, but if Sevilla turn up expecting to see the same performance they faced in the first leg, they’ll be in for a real shock.
5. The big stage
After their performances this year, there shouldn't be a single player in this squad confident of ever getting to play on this biggest stage of all again. That should be motivation enough.
6. Just look at what else is happening in this round
Every game day so far has had a crazy moment: Barcelona lost heavily and Benfica won, Bayern put 5 past Arsenal, Man City and Monaco’s 8 goal thriller, our come back after a terrible first half, Bayern and Arsenal again and then Barcelona’s outrageous, historic comeback over PSG. Juventus aren’t going to cough up a 2-goal lead over Porto, so it’s down to us to keep this streak going. It certainly wouldn’t be the least likely result of the round now.
We know what this team can do. Yes, they haven’t been doing it much this year, but that’s not the point. The past is the past, and this team, right now, are playing great football. Obviously we’re still not favourites, but there’s no doubt that a one goal victory is by no means impossible. In fact, at the moment I’d say there’s every chance that it could happen.
Sevilla 1-1 Leganes— Ian Stringer (@StringerSport) March 11, 2017
Leganes pressed & hassled, scored 1 could've had 4. Sevilla vulnerable at FB & looked tired. Not many rested #GetInToEm
A sneaky, drawn out, terrifying hold out for 1-0. That’s all it would take.
What do you reckon?