Leicester City celebrate Championship title as Enzo Maresca plots Premier League return

Leicester City’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall celebrates securing the Championship title (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
Leicester City’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall celebrates securing the Championship title (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Leicester City will be back in the Premier League next season and have now been crowned Championship title-winners, following a 3-0 win over Preston North End.

The Foxes can still reach the 100-point mark if they beat Blackburn at home on the final day of the season, highlighting their excellent overall campaign as they return to the top flight after just a one-year absence.

While the squad has changed somewhat this year following relegation and the appointment of Enzo Maresca as head coach, some familiar names remain in the Leicester line-up - notably top scorer Jamie Vardy, who has notched 18 Championship goals this season despite coming off the bench as often as he has started.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has notched a dozen goals and more than that number of assists, while the likes of Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard and Ricardo Pereira have been regulars too. Added to those names from their last Premier League season have been Harry Winks - a £10m arrival from Spurs - and Stephy Mavididi, both key performers who have steered the team toward success this term.

Leicester’s promotion was assured ahead of them even taking to the pitch with Leeds’ Friday night thrashing by QPR, while on Saturday Ipswich were held to a draw by Hull meaning victory at Deepdale leaves the Foxes seven points clear at the top, with Ipswich only able to reach 96 points if they win their two remaining games - one fewer than Leicester have already accumulated.

Maresca, who was appointed on a three-year deal last summer, was part of Manchester City’s youth team coaching staff from 2020 for a year, before taking his first senior role at Italian side Parma.

A short spell there ended in him returning to Man City as assistant to Pep Guardiola for a season, before moving to Leicester ten months ago.

Maresca won the EFL Championship Manager of the Month award in August as his campaign got off to the perfect start, with the same award following in October and December.

Leicester’s best run wa a nine-match win streak from mid-September to the end of October, while they also went ten unbeaten from late November to new year’s day. Despite a late-season stumble which featured three defeats in a row in February and further back-to-back defeats in April, victories over promotion hopefuls West Brom and Southampton in the past two weeks have steadied the ship, leaving them now able to fully celebrate on home soil on the final day at the King Power Stadium.