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Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have lost their Chemistry.

Monday 28th November 2016
One of the main factors for Leicester City's incredible achievement last season was the link up play and understanding between their star men Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy. To look at them this season you would think they've never played with each other before, let alone won a title together.

The Foxes have started the defence of their title poorly, currently slumped in 14th place, just 2 points above the relegation zone. They were lucky to scrape a point against Middlesborough at the weekend, a side you imagine they would have easily dismantled this time last year.

I think it is safe to say that no one expected Leicester to repeat the heroics of last season, however, I don't think many would have predicted them to be in this position heading into the most crucial part of the season in the form of the festive period.

Despite excelling in their Champions League group and impressively qualifying for the Last 16 of the competition just last week, the Midlands side have looked a shadow of their previous selves, with the lack of connection between Vardy and Mahrez playing a major part.

Vardy has started the season in poor form, with just 2 goals and 2 assists, struggling to form any sort of partnership with record signing Islam Slimani. Mahrez has performed slightly better than his teammate, scoring 5 and assisting 2, but he looks nowhere near the player he was last season, which warranted him the PFA Player of the Season award in his debut season since breaking into the Starting 11.
The most shocking stat of all, however, is that since playing 365 minutes of football together since September 17th, Mahrez has only found Vardy with a pass on one occasion. A player who provided nearly all of the England International's goals last season has only found his Premier League winning partner once successfully this season, bewildering.

This clear breakdown in chemistry may be down to the hangover of their competition in Europe, or the great expectation that has been placed on both of their shoulders due to last season's performances. Whatever has triggered the breakdown of their connection needs to be repaired soon, otherwise Leicester City fans can allow themselves to worry, as they will find their club in a relegation battle.

Of course, the sale of N'Golo Kante to Chelsea, a player who was so instrumental defensively last season, was a massive blow to the core of the team and an absence that will be hard to fill. The suspension of Danny Drinkwater has also left a hole in the centre of the park, with his illustrious passing and ability to link defence with attack also a miss. The injury to Kasper Schmeichel has also had a negative effect on the team as his sheer presence and commanding figure between the sticks was a huge bonus last term.
In conclusion, I believe Leicester will be safe when it comes to May, and I think their performances and progress in the Champions League does outweigh the slump domestically for most of the King Power faithful; however, they need to mend and rekindle the partnership between Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez quickly if they wish to achieve a respectable league position.
Jack Read
Opinionated Football fan from Manchester. Venting my frustrations via means of Writing online.

Total articles: 33

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