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Lack of goals compounding the problems at Leicester City

Tuesday 17th January 2017
Premier League defending champions Leicester City suffered a 3-0 defeat to current leaders Chelsea in Saturday's meeting at the King Power Stadium, and now the struggling Foxes find themselves as close to the relegation zone as the top-half of the table and have failed to score in the fourth league game since mid-December.

Manager Claudio Ranieri bolstered his attack in the summer with the powerful Islam Slimani and pacey Ahmed Musa but goals have been sparse this season, while existing players who shone in the 2015/16 title-winning campaign haven't come close to replicating such antics.
Leicester City are currently 15th in the Premier League table with 21 points from as many games, having scored 24 goals, conceding 34. The Foxes have failed to score in 33% of their top-flight matches this season, scoring more than one goal in just six of their outings. Ranieri's men have an attack featuring Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez who last season scored and created 58 goals between them, but this campaign have just 12 in five months.

Saturday evening's defeat to Chelsea was the fourth game since the middle of December that they've failed to score in, and only Hull City, Middlesbrough, Burnley and Southampton have been shut out more times this season than the defending champions. Leicester haven't scored in the Premier League in the last 250 minutes despite all their options in attack and it's perhaps unsurprising that the Midlands club are 13th in the list for shots-per-game (10.9) as a result.

As if Leicester's form wasn't already a big enough worry, picking up just five wins in 21 games all season, none of which have come on the road, while keeping a paltry two clean sheets since September. But now goals have dried up when before their only solace was always being a threat in the final third. Riyad Mahrez has scored just three goals in 20 Premier League appearances this season. Vardy has five in 18.

The latter is still Leicester's joint-top scorer too which highlights how no other player in the squad is taking on the burden. Leicester have also struggled to sting sides on the break like they did last season with their excessive pace which has meant a reliance on creativity in possession. City just don't have the midfielders capable to pick a defence apart when they are faced with 10 players behind the ball and it's been why their goal tally is considerably lower.

Distractions to the star players didn't help matters in the summer either. Jamie Vardy was in talks with Arsenal over a big-money move while representing England at the European Championships. Riyad Mahrez was also a target for Arsenal. Both players stayed but haven't looked themselves on the pitch, evident from the lack of goals and performances – Mahrez most notably who Ranieri dropped for a lack of effort.

And with Leicester adjusting to being defending champions the motivation is no longer there as many players won't ever reach such heights in their career again. The goals have dried up at a time where wins have been few and far between, but can Leicester turn things around?
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.


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