Disbelief continues to surround Leicester City amidst their sustained and unprecedented bid to win the Premier League title - didn’t manager Claudio Ranieri get the memo?
His side were widely expected to crumble and fall away following an exhausting and hectic Christmas period, yet here they are, with 15 games remaining and showing no signs of letting up.
The Foxes are currently top and three points clear of Manchester City and Arsenal in second and third respectively. For those yearning for a return to reality, whereby the Premier League's elite storm to the title, time is starting to run out.
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However, Leicester still have a fair few tests of character and resolve in the not-too-distance future to deal with before they can book their open-top parade bus.
Their difficult run begins on Tuesday evening as the league leaders embark on a run of three games in twelve days against England's biggest clubs, the first against Liverpool, with away trips to Manchester City and Arsenal thereafter.
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Against Jurgen Klopp's Reds at the King Power Stadium, Leicester have their best chance of taking three points. It must be said, though, that Liverpool have played far better on their travels, with their German manager's counter-attacking football proving most effective away.
Ranieri's men then face title-chasers City and Arsenal away. The Etihad and Emirates have proved most difficult for sides to come away with points from, with the Citizens claiming 28 points from 12 home games thus far, whilst the Gunners have taken 23 from 11.
In spite of their lofty positions in the Premier League table, neither side have been particularly convincing so far this season - in fact, both clubs can consider themselves lucky to still be in the mix for the title.
Their points haul at this stage - 44 points after 23 games - would see them trailing the league leaders by at least nine points at this stage in the previous four seasons. With that in mind, both clubs will be desperate to put a consistent run together as we approach the defining stage of the season.
Leicester's task will be made even harder by the fact that City and Arsenal have key players returning to form after injury lay-offs.
Sergio Aguero, who was noticeably rusty following his return from a hamstring injury, is beginning to fire on all cylinders for the Sky Blues. Arsenal, meanwhile, recently welcomed back Alexis Sanchez and Francis Coquelin, whilst Danny Welbeck is closing on a return.
The Foxes' style of play will be perfectly suited to such difficult tests, though. Ranieri's side have proved themselves as the kings of counter-attacking football this season, which will be vital during games of limited possession.
To emphasise this point, Leicester are top of the table and the league's second-highest scorers despite the fact they have enjoyed the third-worst percentage of possession this season (44%) and have the worst pass completion of all 20 sides (69.7%).
With their future opponents expected to dominate possession and push players high up the field, Leicester will fancy their chances of hitting them on the break with that deadly combination of pace and directness.
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