The year 2020 has been one that will be hard to forget. The start of the Premier League campaign has already thrown up some memorable results. None more so than Leicester’s 5-2 drubbing of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. After a slow start to the game, by the time the final whistle went, Leicester were deserving winners against a City team that was far from their best. In fact, it will go down as one of their worst displays in recent years.
The result was slightly surprising
Even though Leicester had won their first two league games of the season, the result was still slightly surprising. Manchester City had kicked-off their campaign with a decent 3-1 victory at Wolves on gameweek one. The Citizens were expected to beat the Foxes, even if they were to put in a good display.
However, it was to coin a phrase ‘men against boys’ in the end, as veteran striker Jamie Vardy terrorised the Citizens backline. The 33-year-old scored a hat-trick, two of which came from penalty kicks he had won himself.
The result would not have been as surprising if Brendan Rodgers team had not experienced a poor end to last season, which saw the Foxes fall out of the Champions League spots in the last few weeks of the campaign.
There may be more surprises this season
Every season, there are many surprise results and teams who finish higher in the table than expected. However, the early signs are that there could be far more surprises this season in the Premier League.
There has been talk of the likes of Leicester and Everton, who are currently first and second in the Premier League table, just being the top two teams because it is early in the campaign. There is obvious good reasoning in that theory.
However, both teams have looked well-balanced and look set for strong campaigns in the English top-flight. As Leicester full well know, anything can happen in the Premier League. The Foxes one top-flight title was one of the biggest upsets in the history in modern-day football, arguably any sport. The current team man-for-man may be better technically than the title winners.
Could there be a surprise title challenger this season?
Reigning champions Liverpool were streets ahead of every other team in the Premier League last season. Manchester City are seen as the Reds biggest competitors. However, could the likes of Everton and Leicester mount serious title challenges? In normal seasons, more often than not the answer would be no.
The circumstances of the current campaign may well aid the likes of Everton. The main reason is the fixture congestion that is likely to occur for the usual top-six. Leicester themselves have European football, so that may be a factor, but a team like Everton, who have no European football may surprise a few teams this season.
The normal order may remain the same, but the unconvincing starts of Spurs. Manchester United and of course Manchester City gives hope to other teams that they could enjoy a successful campaign.
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Can a surprise team emerge as title contenders?