Leicester City’s troubled 2014/15 Premier League campaign has been reminiscent of a footballing version of Robert De Niro’s Jake LaMotta biopic Raging Bull.
More particularly it has resembled the culmination of the former world middleweight champion’s brutal six-fight rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson.
Already four fights to one down in the saga, the Bronx Bull endured a seemingly endless barrage of blows from the tenth round onwards in what came to be known as ‘the St Valentine’s Day massacre’
Yet La Motta refused to go down, forcing the referee to stop the fight in the 13th with him still hanging on to the ropes.
Despite receiving a horrendous beating, the man widely considered the greatest boxer of all time had failed to send him to the canvass.
Leicester have already seen their fair share of Sugar Rays over the course of their league games this season yet, much like the Raging Bull, they have held on to a certain dignity.
Defeated in 16 of their 26 top-tier fixtures since earning promotion they are still to succumb to a beating of more than two goals.
The odds-compiling fraternity expect that to change with their visit to a wounded Manchester City tonight, going 8/5 about a Citizens win by three strikes-plus.
Yet bwin.com’s market on when the Foxes next lose by more than a two-goal margin suggests that if they can avoid a hammering at the Eithad then they be able to hang up their top-flight gloves bloodied but unbowed at the end of May.
It’s 2/1 that Leicester don’t sustain a single loss by a margin of three goals or more all term, with 4/1 Tottenham next shortest to inflict such a defeat, followed by Chelsea at 8/1.
If they can keep that trio honest, Nigel Pearson’s side have an excellent chance of landing the odds, thanks to the moderate nature of their other remaining foes.
That list in full – Hull (h), West Ham (h), West Brom (a), Swansea (h), Burnley (a), Newcastle (h), Southampton (h), Sunderland (a) and QPR (h).
City have won only two of their 14 home games by more than two strikes this term, with Federico Fazio’s sending off a major contribution to Tottenham’s 4-1 loss.
As it stands those self-same Lilywhites have bested just one side by three goals or more at White Hart Lane this term ahead of Leicester’s first visit since winning in the FA Cup.
Finally, Chelsea will visit the King Power Stadium in search of what would be, at present, only their second three-or-more-goal road league win of 2014/15.