The Premier League has always been known for being one of the most closely contested soccer leagues in Europe. Every year, several teams start out the season with good chances to play for the title.
Nevertheless, what happened so far, this season is one for the history books. Not even the most optimistic Leicester fans (and most pessimistic Chelsea fans) could say they predicted how the Premier League’s standings look today and keep a straight face while saying it.
Arguably one of the world’s Cinderella stories of the year, Leicester’s form just keeps improving as Jamie Vardy keeps finding ways to lead the Foxes to victory.
According to Transfermarkt, Vardy’s market value has tripled since February, from € 2m at the beginning of the year to € 6m in October. And if the striker keeps up his performances that number will keep rising.
Vardy is the undisputed top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals scored in 13 matches. He is four goals ahead of second-placed Romelu Lukaku, who has nine goals.
Leicester’s main goal-scoring threat is on a 10-game scoring streak, which he hopes to improve in their next match. But to extend his streak to 11, he will have to find a way to score on the best defense of the Premier League.
Manchester United has the most solid defense in the EPL so far this season. The Red Devils have only allowed nine goals in the 13 matches they’ve played.
As a team, United has eight clean sheets on the season. Five clean sheets went to David De Gea, and three clean sheets were awarded to Sergio Romero.
Although both of United goalkeepers are great at doing their job, they also have it easier than most of the other keepers in the competition. Louis Van Gaal’s team has been prolific not only in keeping the ball away from their net but also at not allowing the opposing team to take a shot at De Gea or Romero.
Just behind Manchester City in this category, United is only allowing their opponents to take 8.9 shots per match according to WhoScored.com.
In contrast, the league leaders are allowing an average of 12.6 shots per match from their opponents.
An aspect that makes this matchup so interesting, aside from the Cinderella story, is that it will be a matchup between the best defense, and as fate would have it, the best offense in the Premier League.
Yes, Leicester not only lead the EPL and have the top scorer, but they’re also the top scoring team in the competition.
The Foxes have tallied 28 goals in the 13 matches they’ve played. That’s more than half of what they had all of last season.
This will be the second chance Leicester will have to prove that they can deliver against one of England’s five major clubs and redeem themselves from the 2-5 loss to Arsenal earlier this season.