Warm air blown in their direction from opposing managers, however distinguished, will not ensure bottom-of-the-Premier-League Leicester reach safety this season, but conceivably it could even get worse and salvation still be achieved.
In the wake of a narrow defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, in which a wasteful Andrej Kramaric spurned a gilt-edged chance to equalise for Leicester late on, Arsene Wenger was uncharacteristically warm in his appraisal of the opposition.
“We played against a very good team,
“We’re surprised that this team is bottom of the league – I knew that before the game.
“We could see again today that they’re a strong side, and if they can not panic and keep believing in what they are doing, I believe they will get out.”
Regardless of Wenger’s complements and the brightness of their display, Leicester are 1/3 favourites with bwin for an immediate return to the second tier at the first time of asking.
Worse still, Nigel Pearson’s side face a trio of devilish fixtures primed to drag them further into the quicksand, with Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City scheduled.
However, Wenger may just have a point about the Foxes holding their nerve to justify odds of 2/1 about cheating the drop, as all is far from lost in terms of Premier League precedent.
Even if Pearson’s men, who’ve only amassed only 17 points up to now, were to suffer three more league defeats, history shows picking up late flurries of points can be done.
Some notable examples shine a beacon of hope where struggling teams have gone on points-collecting sprees late in the season and in some cases doubled their tallies in the closing stages to achieve survival.
West Ham (2006/07)
20 points after 29 games
41 points after 38 games (15th)
19 points after 28 games
36 points after 38 games (17th)
21 points after 28 games
43 points after 38 games (15th)