Manchester City and Arsenal may be the football clubs at the top following week 12 of 2015/16 Premier League play, and Chelsea may be grabbing more headlines than just about any English team, thanks to their disastrous season so far. However, arguably no soccer club in the league has enjoyed more of a renaissance this season than Leicester City.
Indeed, the Foxes are sitting third in the Premier League after 12 weeks of competition, just one point behind both Manchester City and Arsenal. They've won seven of their games and have only lost one, making them the least beaten club in the league right now, alongside Tottenham Hotspur. Add the fact that Leicester currently have the top two scorers in the EPL, and the Foxes are beginning to look like legitimate title contenders.
The Rise of Leicester City
If you can't remember much about Leicester City's recent Premier League history, that's because there isn't much of it. Before a middling 14th place last season, the Foxes hadn't played in England's top-flight division since 2004. The soccer club spent four seasons in the Championship between 2004 and 2008 when they were relegated one step lower. After winning the Football League One in 2008 2009, Leicester City spent another five years in the Championship before finally earning promotion into the Premier League at the end of the 2013 2014 season.
This season, though, Leicester City have looked thoroughly deserving of their top-flight berth. Following a 2-1 win against Watford last weekend, the Foxes are enjoying a three-game winning streak-the longest of any team in the Premier League right now. Furthermore, the game saw striker Jamie Vardy net his 12th goal of the season.
Vardy is the top scorer for a Premier League season where none of the usual suspects are delivering the high goal counts. Indeed, Vardy has five more goals than anyone else in the league right now. Leicester's Riyad Mahrez, Everton's Romelu Lukaku, and Watford's Odion Ighalo are tied for second, with seven goals apiece.
The Rest of the Field
Leicester City were helped last weekend by the fact that their third win in a row coincided with draws for both Manchester City and Arsenal. The Gunners snapped their own impressive winning streak (a five-game parade of victories) in a 1-1 North London Derby draw against Tottenham Hotspur. Manchester City, meanwhile, went 0-0 against the bottom-ranked Aston Villa, where newly appointment manager Remi Garde must be doing something right.
The draw with Arsenal allowed Tottenham to slip into the EPL's top five, pushing past West Ham United, who drew 1-1 against Everton over the weekend. Manchester United, meanwhile, joined Leicester City as the only top-five team to get a win this weekend, beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 to get back on the right track in the 2015/16 Premier League.
United had failed to win three of their previous four fixtures, with an ineffectual Wayne Rooney increasingly taking the blame for his football club's disappointing performances. This week, after plenty of urging, manager Louis van Gaal took Rooney out of the center forward position and gave teenager Anthony Martial a chance at the vanguard. Martial actually didn't score in the match, but the shake-up proved helpful for the Red Devils anyway, as both Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata netted goals to give United a win.
Elsewhere, Chelsea lost their third in a row against Stoke City, with manager Jose Mourinho absent thanks to a stadium ban. Jurgen Klopp's rebuilding effort at Liverpool hit a snag as the Gunners lost 1-2 against Crystal Palace-at home, no less. And Southampton, Norwich City, and Newcastle United were the league's only other winners, beating Sunderland, Swansea City, and AFC Bournemouth, respectively.
Which football club are you rooting for to win the 2015/16 Premier League? What are your predictions for the remainder of the season? Stop by Soccer Box to pick up a jersey for your favorite club, be it a Manchester City shirt 2015/16 or new Premier League kits, then find us on social media to share your thoughts! Soccer Box is active on multiple social platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, and Google +.