Saturday 1 October 2016

Leicester City's league victory set to be sport's biggest shock

Michael McCarthy

Published 09/03/2016 | 02:30

Riyad Mahrez celebrates with team mates and fans after scoring the winner for Leicester at Vicarage Road on Saturday. 'We’re nine games away from the greatest underdog story in the history of sport'. Reuters / Eddie Keogh
Riyad Mahrez celebrates with team mates and fans after scoring the winner for Leicester at Vicarage Road on Saturday. 'We’re nine games away from the greatest underdog story in the history of sport'. Reuters / Eddie Keogh

Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Sunderland, West Ham, Swansea, Manchester United, Everton, Chelsea - that's who stand in the way of the biggest shock in sport's history.

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Nine games to go and a five point lead for Leicester City. The toughest of those could even come when it's all done and dusted, at to Stamford Bridge. A guard of honour from the 2015 champions to the 2016 winners. How perfect.

There's a long way to go. Every game is more exciting, but each one has bigger consequences.

One texter to Off The Ball this week aptly compared Leicester to a rookie golfer leading a major championship, but only now starting the back nine on a Sunday - a lot can go wrong yet.

IMPRESSIVE

Then again, we've been saying this for months. Last week, a tough trip to Watford was handled impressively. They dug out the last minute winner they needed against Norwich the week before, in what was their worst performance this year. Unlucky to draw against West Brom in between these games, they impressively didn't tighten up after Norwich and went back to being themselves. The defence is steady. Jamie Vardy hasn't been scoring. N'Golo Kante has been out. It's not falling apart as easily as we thought.There's been plenty of tests and they've been passed.

Leicester were 5000/1 in some places before the season's start. I've been trying to find a bigger shock. They're hard to come by.

Greece, in 2004, were only 150/1 to win the European Championships for example. I'm sure there was someone out there who thought Buster Douglas could beat Mike Tyson, or that Goran Ivanisevic would win Wimbledon in 2001.

I don't think anyone in their right mind saw this happening.

We're nine games away from the greatest underdog story in the history of sport. A real life Rocky. No pressure.

Irish Independent

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