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Season Preview 2012/13: Leicester City

Season Preview 2012/13: Leicester City
IT WAS a case of out with the old, in with the older last season for Leicester City, who replaced former England and Lazio boss Sven Goran Eriksson with ex-Foxes manager, Nigel Pearson.

Pearson, who had left two seasons previously to take up the reins at Hull City, needed little persuading to return to the Midlands outfit and has quickly begun dismantling the work done by his predecessor.

If the Eriksson era was synonymous with one thing then it was big names and big money. Pearson with his far more humble roots has quickly constructed a side that boasts far fewer star names but plenty more team spirit and unity.

Strengths: This is Pearson's side.

Gone are the likes of Gelson Fernandes, Sol Bamba, Lee Peltier and Matt Mills, all big money signings who failed to hit the heights during their stay at the King Power Stadium. In come the likes of Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater and Richie De Laet, lesser-known names who Pearson will look to to spearhead the promotion push this term.

Weakness': An all-new defence.

With a number of defensive additions this summer in an otherwise strong squad, it looks like the backline could be the only area of concern for the Foxes. The individual defenders are all good players, but how will they gel as a unit?

Best business so far: Matty James from Manchester United.

A classy young midfielder, the two-time Preston North End loanee brings great vision and passing to the King Power Stadium.

Highly thought of by former PNE boss Darren Ferguson, James came through the academy under Sir Alex Ferguson and arrives with good pedigree as a result. James also boasts England U16, U17, U19 & U20 caps as well.

Star man: Young winger Ben Marshall is a particularly dangerous wide player, signed last January from Stoke City.

Impressive during a loan spell with League One Sheffield Wednesday, Pearson was impressed enough to splash a seven-figure fee on the Salford-born 21 year old. Marshall took in loan spells with four different Football League clubs before moving to the Midlands outfit in January.

In: Jacob Blyth (Leamington) undisc, Matty James (Manchester United) undisc, Richie De Laet (Manchester United) undisc, Jamie Vardy (Fleetwood Town) undisc, Marco Futacs (Portsmouth) free, Zak Whitbread (Norwich City) free, & Anthony Knockaert (Guingamp) undisc.

Out: Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor) undisc, Lee Peltier (Leeds United) 600k & Matt Mills (Bolton Wanderers) undisc.

Prediction:

wfc123:
It's s strong squad whereby the sum total of the parts probably outweighs the individual ability of each player, but Pearson knows all about putting a squad together having done it to get the Foxes back to this level to begin with. Top six.

chrisgwfc: A pretty different summer this year splashing out on non-league Jamie Vardy rather than last summers extravaganza, but they will lead to a more tight-knit squad and a better chance to get to the Premier League.

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday August 11 2012
Time: 12:13AM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
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