Feb 26, 2016

    Foxes can pull away from chasing pack


    LEICESTER City can put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack in the Premier League title race on Saturday when they return to action after taking a two-week break.

    Victory for Claudio Ranieri's side at home to relegation-threatened Norwich City would open a provisional five-point gap over Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who both play on Sunday, having been involved in energy-sapping midweek European games.

    The fixtures could not have worked out better for Leicester, who suffered a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Arsenal in their previous match, cutting their lead over the Gunners to two points before Spurs moved into second spot with a win at Manchester City.

    Their next nine league matches are against teams currently outside the top five before they face Manchester United on April 30 and finish with games at home to Everton and away to Chelsea.

    The Foxes are out of the domestic cup competitions so they can focus exclusively on their unexpected title tilt.

    After wins against Liverpool and Manchester City in the previous two games, it looked as though the cracks might finally start to show after an incredible campaign.

    But thanks to their early FA Cup loss to Spurs, Leicester's players were given a week of rest and recuperation by the canny Ranieri before returning to the training ground on Monday.

    Their title rivals will have all played three matches in that time, with Arsenal suffering a 2-0 home defeat by Barcelona and Tottenham hosting Fiorentina in the Europa League's last 32, second leg (this morning, Singapore time), having drawn 1-1 last week.

    Fourth-placed Manchester City, who made the long trip to Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday and came away with a good 3-1 win, could slip further off the pace as they are preoccupied with the League Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.

    The visit of Norwich represents the beginning of a four-game window of opportunity for Leicester in which they can really put the squeeze on the clubs immediately below them.

    After that, they host struggling West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, go to Watford the following weekend and then are at home to relegation-threatened Newcastle.