Leicester City head to Anfield to play Liverpool on Wednesday night. Foxes manager Claude Puel remains under fire and speculation grows that a loss to Liverpool could spell the end of his reign at the King Power Stadium.
Puel joined Leicester in October 2017 after taking over from Craig Shakespeare. In his first season with the club, Puel was able to lead Leicester to a ninth-place Premier League finish — three spots higher in the table than the previous season.
This season has seen Leicester fail to build on last year’s successes. Leicester have lost 10 out of 23 matches this term while winning nine.
According to leading sportsbooks, Puel remains the top managerial selection to be sacked next.
Claude Puel – Leicester City Manager
Puel has been in charge of 63 matches with Leicester. The team has recorded 1.40 points per game under his leadership.
Puel’s PPG with Leicester is slightly better than it was during his time with Southampton. He recorded 1.38 PPG in charge at St. Mary’s Stadium. It was the lowest in his career to date.
Leicester’s players have failed to find consistency this term. Jaime Vardy currently leads the team in goals with seven. Leicester’s next leading scorer is James Maddison with five, but he hasn’t found the back of the net since December 5th against Fulham.
Maddison has been praised for his play this term, but he has been out of form for the last two months leading Puel to leave him on the bench to start games.
The midfielder was left on the bench for Leicester’s most recent win against Everton and didn’t play a minute of the game.
He played in the Foxes’ last two losses to Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Maddison contributed an assist against Wolves, but overall, he has struggled.
Leicester have won just once in which Maddison has played a full 90 minutes this term. Against Wolves, he appeared only for the final 17 minutes of the game.
Leicester won’t sack Claude Puel because…
Despite reports Puel had lost the Leicester dressing room hitting newspapers in December, there some very good reasons the club will wait until the summer to sack him.
There are just 15 games to go this term and Leicester are comfortably in midtable. The club can write-off the remainder of this season and with Premier League safety secured focus on next year.
Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers is a leading candidate to take over at the King Power Stadium and could be waiting in the wings to take over in July.
Leicester’s decision to retain Puel for the remainder of the season isn’t just due to the season coming into the homestretch.
Club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s death earlier this season shook the club and it is still recovering from the helicopter crash that claimed his life.
If Leicester can get through the season and remain in the Premier League — which they will as they are 12 points ahead of the relegation zone — then they will shake things up for the 2019-20 season.
With the fans calling for Puel’s sacking, there is the chance Leicester could go with a caretaker manager. But then they put themselves in the same position they were when Shakespeare took over for Claudio Ranieri in 2017. He performed well and was given the job only to fail once being named permanent manager.