How Leicester City Could Make Premier League Betting History

As far as rank outsiders go, the Foxes are setting the bar this season.
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As far as rank outsiders go, the Foxes are setting the bar this season.
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Current Premiership leaders Leicester City have fans wondering if they can pull of one of the most unlikely feats since the dawn of the league by finishing in top spot this season.

Despite fans and pundits continuing to write off their staying power, the Midlands club currently sit seven points clear at the top of the table, with Spurs in second. For those few fans who decided to put money on it at the start of the season success will be that much sweeter, as Leicester were as much as 5000/1 to be crowned champions in August. According to reports, some stand to win up to £200,000 if Claudio Ranieri's men achieve glory. 

The last time football saw such a rank outsider claim a major victory was in 2004, when 150/1 Greece beat hosts Portugal to win the European Championships, but as far as Premier League betting goes, a successful Leicester campaign would be the biggest upset in history. Incidentally, 2004 was the same year Chelsea sacked Leicester's current manager Claudio Ranieri, following the London club's takeover by Russian businessman Roman Abramovic. It won't be too difficult for the Italian to watch his former club languishing in 10th place after a dismal start to the campaign. 

Delving further back into football's past throws up similarly unlikely success stories, from Brian Clough taking Nottingham Forest from a Second Division side to European champions in the '70s, to the Ipswich Town side of the early '60s. Another famous upset occurred in 1988, when the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final courtesy of a Lawrie Sanchez header.

Even those events don't have the magic of Leicester's story however, going straight from promotion to potential champions in the space of a season, and according to betting experts the odds are absolutely unprecedented. Despite 47 different clubs taking part to date only five teams have ever won the Premiership, and no team outside of London of Lancashire has ever been victorious.

This season has been no stranger to upsets as those teams traditionally battling for top place have seen a dip in form, from West Ham thrashing Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield at the start of the season, to Norwich overcoming Man Utd. In the wider sporting context, the Foxes' campaign could be the crowning moment in a league which is becoming more competitive and exciting every season. The days of Arsenal and Man Utd running their annual two horse race seems a distant memory. 

Leicester's top goalscorer Jamie Vardy could still claim the golden boot. Currently one goal behind Spurs' Harry Kane, it's an encouraging stat for those with an eye on England's chances in the European Championships this summer. 

The season isn't over yet however, and it's not too late to lump on Leicester with some online free bets, or even North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal, who both hover below waiting for a slip up from the Foxes. With a possible 15 points from five games to go, it's all still left to play for.