Why Leicester are faltering in Championship title race

Leicester City were once 12 points clear at the summit of the EFL Championship, with talk of record points totals. That seems in the distant past now. Here is why the Foxes find themselves flailing in a title race they fought for.

Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship / George Wood/GettyImages
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Enzo Maresca has been somewhat of a revolutionary at the King Power. From dismal relegation, straight to trophy challenges. Now, the Italian head coach does have the finest squad overall in the competition, but it is still difficult to consistently challenge. Our current form attests to that: teams with more direct attacking intent are currently on-form and closing the gap.

Nonetheless, Maresca has done a brilliant job, and we will not be taking that away from the head coach. The style of football has been far superior to that deployed in the closing days of Brendan Rodgers, and of course built Leicester a massive moat at the summit. Good thing too, as that moat has since been crossed, and Ipswich Town and Leeds United are knocking at the gates below.

Leicester City’s clinical finishing… or lack there of

The obvious first reason for this sudden drop off has been an inability from the forwards to actually get shots on target, and then convert on target shots to more clinical strikes to beat the ‘keeper. If we look at our last five games (three losses and two wins) we have scored seven out of 17 shots on target, which was out of a further - checks notes - 74 shots.

So, just under 10% of all shots taken actually ended at the back of the net. Conversely, our opponents had 14 shots on target out of 49 and actually scored 8. Of course, three of those came in one match against Leeds, and none of those came from Sheffield Wednesday. However, in all but one then, we conceded, and three - the losses - we conceded more than one, in only two did we ourselves score more than one - the two wins.

There are clearly two concerns here: we are conceding more than we are creating, yet those we are creating should be enough to utterly thrash our opposition. Even though we are conceding around the same number of shots on target as we are creating, the opposition are converting their chances while we are under performing.

We have seen wild thrashes at goal from long-distance, misplaced finishes from closed range, and stretching headers grazing the bar. Was it a lack of luck or just poor chances? I would contest the latter. It all feeds into the second reason Leicester City are faltering.