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Leicester vs. Chelsea: Can the Foxes maintain their momentum towards a Great Escape?

28 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Leicester vs. Chelsea: Can the Foxes maintain their momentum towards a Great Escape?

Nigel Pearson’s side have won their last four Premier League games but face the league leaders this week

Sometimes, things take a while to click. Recipes take years to master, relationships months to blossom. As some Don Draper figure once noted, good things come to those who wait.

The problem, increasingly, is that people are impatient: in this world of on-demand, instant-delivery gratification, we’re not accustomed to waiting for things. We want the world and we wanted it yesterday, with freebies thrown in for good measure.

Leicester City’s season, it’s fair to say, took some time to ignite. Aside from the odd moment of magnificence (that heady 5-3 win over Manchester United back when the campaign was young and innocent springs to mind), the Foxes toiled away through their first months back in the top flight.

The defence, so sturdy last term, wobbled badly. Leonardo Ulloa’s early fireworks faded as winter drew in. Technically capable players like Riyad Mahrez and David Nugent flickered brightly but too infrequently. Performances were good for the most part, but the results just didn’t seem to come.

It all came to a head in early February. Manager Nigel Pearson – a gruff, bristling concoction of masculinity and barely concealed anger – appeared to put Crystal Palace player James McArthur in a strangle hold during a 1-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium.

This was the latest in a series of strange incidents involving the manager, who had memorably told one heckler to “f**k off and die” during a game two months previously. It seemed to be the final straw: one evening, news went round that Leicester had sacked Pearson.

Only they hadn’t. Or if they did, they quickly changed their minds, for Pearson was present in the dugout for the next game. It was chalked down as a PR blip – an oddity in season that looked doomed.

But whether through luck or judgement, the decision to stand by Pearson has paid off. The results have begun to flow: four wins on the trot have lifted them out of the relegation zone for the first time in months. Saturday’s success over Burnley – whose decline has coincided with Leicester’s improvement – felt especially significant.

On Wednesday night, they face runaway leaders Chelsea. Judging by league position, it’s a no-brainer. But with Jose Mourinho’s side not firing on all cylinders and plenty of wind in their sails, Leicester will feel a result is within their grasp.

They waited long enough for things to come together. Now’s the time to enjoy it.