Michael Owen isn’t the most popular football pundit on TV but he’s not afraid to speak his mind, even if it means flying in the face of public opinion.
The former Liverpool striker, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2001, receives more than his fair share of stick on social media as a result.
But Owen never shies away from his own views. If he has something to say, regardless of how it might impact his popularity, he’ll say it. And fair play to him for that.
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The 36-year-old raised eyebrows back in February with a comment about Leicester City, who were flying high in the Premier League table at the time en route to one of the most remarkable sporting triumphs in history.
The Foxes were unstoppable - inspired by the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante - but Owen put a spanner in the works by claiming he could see Leicester being relegated at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
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Owen: Leicester could go down in 2017
“Leicester conceivably could go down next year,” he said on BT Sport, much to the bemusement of viewers. “They could win the league and they could still be in a relegation fight next year.
“It depends which way they go. They could go and invest all of their Champions League money and try to be a top club for years to come.
“Or they could pocket the money, maybe lose someone like [Riyad] Mahrez. All of a sudden, you know... their team is not a Manchester United squad or a Liverpool squad, and they're having an unbelievable season. I sincerely hope they go on and win it but they could [go down].”
Video: Owen's Leicester prediction from February
Owen’s controversial prediction attracted tweets like this…
Owen's comment doesn't sound so stupid now
However, 11 matches into the new season and Owen’s controversial comment doesn’t sound too outrageous or stupid.
Claudio Ranieri’s men, who lost Kante to Chelsea in the summer, have picked up a disappointing 12 league points so far this term, leaving them in 14th place.
Following Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 defeat to West Brom at the King Power Stadium, Leicester are now just two points above the relegation zone.
The reigning champions of England certainly have no realistic chance of successfully retaining their title, as Gary Lineker’s latest tweet suggests…
Leicester are performing well in Europe, at least
However, despite their domestic woes, Leicester are performing pretty well in the Champions League.
They are currently sitting pretty at the top of Group G, having secured three wins and a draw from their opening four fixtures.
Will Leicester City be relegated to the Championship this season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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