It has been nothing short of a dream run at the King Power Stadium for Leicester City this season.
The Foxes have performed way above expectations and currently sit third in the Premier League table, behind giants Manchester City and Arsenal.
The dynamic duo of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy seem to have unlocked a new dimension to their game which most never knew existed, playing with the temperament and calibre of footballers way beyond their supposed ability.
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Many pundits tipped Claudio Ranieri's side as favourites for relegation this campaign due to the club's fallout with last season’s manager Nigel Pearson and the loss of veteran midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, but the Foxes have shunned their critics with a stellar rise to prominence.
However, just to play devil’s advocate, Leicester's achievements this campaign have been largely due to an extended streak of luck that every mid-table side experiences at some point throughout a season.
LACK OF TOUGH GAMES
The Foxes have not yet been truly put to the grind and faced the league's big hitters. Vardy and company have only played Arsenal from the 'top four' and were torn apart in a game which ended 5-2 in favour of the Gunners.
Alexis Sanchez grabbed a classy hat-trick whilst Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud also struck - Arsenal's strikers had a field day.
Apart from the north Londoners, the only other game played against one of the Premier League's big boys was at home against Tottenham in the third game week.
Spurs were coming off the back of one win and one draw then, and were nothing like the team that churned out a draw at the Emirates recently. In that game, chances were at a premium and the game rightly finished a goal apiece.
Credit must be given where it’s due, of course. Leicester have shown great resilience and character to bounce back from losing positions in games this season, often emerging victorious.
The Foxes seem reinvigorated in attack and organised in midfield. Individually, Mahrez, Vardy and Marc Albrighton have blossomed under their new manager.
TOUGH RUN AHEAD
However, the next seven games will truly determine Leicester's credentials this season; the make or break point of their campaign is upon them.
They first travel to Tyneside to face Newcastle, after which they host Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United. A comparatively easier game away at Swansea follows before playing host to the defending champions Chelsea in a mid-week clash.
The Foxes then face multiple trips to Merseyside against Everton and Liverpool, after which they end their daunting seven match run with arguably the greatest test of them all: at home to league leaders Manchester City.
Leicester have done mightily well to be where they are in the league after 12 games, but only after this run of seven difficult games can the Foxes truly be taken seriously.