This is a topic that has been touched on before but, after reading some of the posts on various Leicester City forums and Twitter, it seems now might be a good time to look again at how long City have before a promotion charge is out of the question.
Firstly, how many points do City need to be competitive in the play-off race? In all but the most stratified of Championship seasons, 70-75 points is usually enough to secure a playoff place. With 117 points still to play for, there is plenty of scope for bad patches of form.
As Watford’s 6-1 victory at the New Den spectacularly proved, results in the Championship have such a topsy-turvy nature that attaching too much importance to single games is largely a pointless exercise. Instead, it is preferable to place fixtures in to chunks of four. This isn’t quite a months worth, but it is enough to conduct a reasonable assessment of recent form. It is also very handy mathematically to demonstrate why City’s season is far from over. Indeed it has barely reached the end of the beginning.
The Foxes took just one point from their opening four games, but since then City have recovered. A point at Coventry was followed by a convincing home victory over Cardiff. And whilst QPR gave the Foxes a very tough lesson on Saturday, the trip to Portsmouth offers Leicester the chance to make a statement to the Championship in front of the TV cameras. A win would give Paulo Sousa’s men seven points from their last four matches.
That sort of form (two wins, a draw and a defeat) every four games would leave City at the end of the season on approximately 74 points, that’s usually enough to make the top six.
Early points defects are recoverable and the leaves have yet to start falling. At the end of October it will be much tougher for Leicester to recover, but between now and then there are seven games to play including three very winnable home matches against Scunthorpe, Hull and Preston.
It’s still premature to say the season is as good as over, or that upcoming matches are ‘must-win’. There is everything still to play for.