The season is nearing the end, but anyone who has been watching the Barclays Premier League can agree that this year has been one of the most entertaining.
In a league that doesn’t usually see much much parity — after all, only five different teams have won the title since 1992 — this year has seen lower tier teams rise to the top of the standings and some of the usual powerhouses struggling.
Defending champion Chelsea has gone through a lot of trouble this year, as they sit in the middle of the pack. They even fired their polarizing coach Jose Mourinho halfway through the season.
Usual staple Liverpool is also struggling as they are near the middle as well. The club is still trying to find replacements for former stars Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.
The most fascinating story though, comes from Leicester City. The club has only been in the top league for two years and had to make a late run last year to avoid relegation again. This year has been completely different under new coach Claudio Ranieri. They have soared to the top of the standings and lead the table by 10 points with five games left after this week’s 2–0 win at Sunderland.
They are led by two amazing playmakers in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who combine for the more goals (35) than any other pair in the league. Mahrez will likely win Player of the Year because he’s fifth in goals scored (16) and second in assists (11), but Vardy is the more intriguing story. He embodies the success of the Leicester City club, working his way up without any hype and eventually earning the starting spot for his native England team.
The club still has work to do to hold off Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but their story has been unbelievable already. They entered this season with 5,000-1 odds to win the league. Think about this: the odds of the horrible Philadelphia 76ers to win the NBA Championship this year were only 1,000-1. The insane people who took that bet could end up costing English sporting books up to $14 million in payouts.