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, Kasey McAteer, James Justin
Leicester City v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

MarescaBall’s weakness

Uncovered by our opposition, Maresca’s brand of football relies on a critical element, without which it fails, but with too much it becomes complacent, stagnant, and unthreatening: possession. Possession is the Foxes most necessary facet, and yet, when the team reaches near 70%, or below 50%, the mistakes will count up. Those mistakes and misplaced passes are what teams capitalise on.

When the team marauds forward, you have a slow backline left to fend against rushing midfielders and either strong or pacy forwards. Sometimes, the collective can track back quick enough to create a strong block, other times, attackers merrily skip passed lines and break to face our defenders or goalkeeper. When that is done, well, the King Power side have recently given the goals away.

At the other end, the King Power team struggle to break as their players have little impactful space to run into. Their response? Pass it back or inwards. If passed backwards, the cycle repeats, when passed inwards, we usually see a long-shot off target from either Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall or Harry Winks. Neither are particularly great at range, at least they get near the goal.

Therefore, every team we have lost to has taken advantage of this. They sit back, defend well, do not go running after the ball as Leicester want them to, and wait for a mistake or simply prevent devastating runs into the box. When the Foxes can break through that, they have missed, when they cannot, our players simply pass back to try again. From Coventry City to QPR, if they defend well, they know they can break when our players are disjointed.