The Weekend in Numbers: If Chelsea draw, Leicester can no longer defend their title

The reigning champions are 39 points off the top

BY Simon Maguire 09:04 Friday 24 February 2017, 9:04 24 Feb 2017

Picture by: Nigel French / EMPICS Sport

It has been improbable that Leicester would retain their Premier League title for a number of months now but it will be mathematically impossible if Chelsea pick up at least a point this weekend.

The fairytale story of last year has since turned into a nightmare for the reigning league champions culminating with the sacking of manager Claudio Ranieri on Thursday.

Last season's form has long since disappeared so much so that the club are in real danger of becoming the first team since Man City in 1938 of being relegated as title holders. (Oddly, City were also the league's top scorers that season). 

The champions are currently 39 points behind leaders Chelsea with 13 games of the season remaining. If Chelsea draw or win at home against Swansea on Saturday, Leicester will be mathematically unable to catch them. Leicester host Liverpool on Monday night.

Staying close to the bottom, Crystal Palace entertain Middlesbrough in your classic relegation "six-pointer" with both sides desperate for a win.

The pair have only one league win in their last 16 league matches combinded so the significance of this fixture cannot be over looked. 

The visitors go into the match on the back of a scoreless draw against Everton and only lost at Tottenham prior to that after a Harry Kane penalty late on.

In their last two games, Palace got hammered 4-0 by fellow strugglers Sunderland followed by another defeat to Stoke.

And finally, Southampton and Man United square off for the first piece of major silverware this season in the EFL Cup.

The Saints haven't won a major honour since winning the FA Cup in 1976 - against Manchester United. 

The south coast side go into the match on the back of a 4-0 win over Sunderland with new striker Manolo Gabbiadini on fire since his arrival during the recent transfer window.

United, despite manager Jose Mourinho's whinging about his fixture list, go to Wembley after disposing of St. Etienne easily in the Europa League on Wednesday.


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