Leicester City's fairytale could hold a damaging effect on the Premier League

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A 3-1 victory over Manchester City last weekend saw Leiceser City open a five point gap at the top of the Premier League, moving them closer to winning the title in what was an astounding performance.

Were the season to finish at it stands, or even with the Foxes in a top four place, it would be a remarkable achievement for Claudio Ranieri's men and very much reinforce how unpredictable England's top-flight is.

The question is, though: would Leicester's fairytale story benefit English football?


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Those who support anyone outside of the top four will likely be rooting for Jamie Vardy and co. to continue their extraordinary run. Only a disastrous set of results would now see them fall out of the top four, but based on how they've played so far, that's unlikely to happen.

The problem is that the Premier League is under pressure to perform in the Champions League amidst rumours it could lose its fourth spot. As a result, England's strongest representatives need to be competing, which raises the concern of whether Leicester are yet strong enough to hold their own against Europe's finest.

The system of calculating the coefficients used to establish which league deserves the extra qualifying place is complicated, but in a nutshell, the fact no English side reached the quarter-finals last season, whereas Italy's Juventus made the final, means Serie A is close behind in the rankings.

Put into perspective, a repeat of last season's Champions League campaign, whereby Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all crash out in the last 16, could result in the Premier League only being given three places in the 2017/18 season.

So, will Leicester's inclusion aid England's situation? The harsh truth is no.

Competing in the Champions League, along with the Premier League, means you must not only possess exceptional players but exceptional squad depth - and barring a huge investment this summer, the Foxes are not quite at that level.

The seeding system will also be against them, suggesting Leicester would come up against Europe's heavyweights in the group stages.

It's a breath of fresh air to see someone new competing for the Premier League, of course, but for the good of English football as a whole, it might be best for Leicester to finish outside of the Champions League places.

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