Leicester City face biggest challenge yet to maintain Premier League form under pressure

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Leicester City host Newcastle United next Monday hoping to maintain their excellent league form, which has seen them climb five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Manager Claudio Ranieri has adopted a counter-attacking style of football that has utilised his side's prized assets perfectly, taking points home and away all season when defeat was predicted for the Foxes.

Results cannot be achieved by quality going forward alone, however, and a lot of credit must be given to how Leicester defend as a unit.


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In front of their reliable and no-nonsense approach at the back, midfield enforcers N'Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater have played a vital role in adding steel and creativity in the centre of the park, whilst striker Jamie Vardy works tirelessly to hassle opposition defences.

It's widely believed the East Midlanders have the easiest run-in en route to the Premier League title, with West Ham the current highest ranked team to face Leicester in their final nine games.

Premier League sides should never be underestimated, though, with every team capable of pulling off a shock. March 1 saw Craig Gardener produce a sublime free-kick to seal a point for West Brom at the King Power Stadium during a clash Leicester were expected to win.

Despite not taking all three points against the Baggies, Ranieri's men bounced back with victory on Saturday evening with a performance that typified their incredible season thus far.

They faced a difficult Watford side at the Vicarage Road and after keeping Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney at bay throughout capitalised on their best chance of scoring, Riyad Mahrez finding the net emphatically from the edge of the box.

It was yet another magical moment from the Algerian who, alongside Vardy, is a prime contender for the Premier League Player of the Year this season.

With league strugglers Newcastle and Crystal Palace next on the agenda for Leicester, they face two stiff tests against sides likely to play defensively and seek to frustrate them - a true sign of their status as title contenders.

The Foxes have performed admirably, but they now face a huge challenge to maintain their high standards as title favourites and keep their feet firmly on the ground during the business end of the season.

There is no reason why they can't do so, but even England's elite sides have crumbled under the pressure of expectation in the past.

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