Claude Puel has been announced as the new Leicester City manager .
The ex-Southampton boss will take over immediately and is tasked with pulling the 2015/16 champions away from the relegation zone after the Foxes fired Craig Shakespeare last week.
Just one win in Shakespeare’s last seven meant the 53-year-old had to go, although caretaker boss Michael Appleton won his two games in charge against Swansea City and Leeds United, respectively, to ease the strain on the club.
After just nine Premier League games of the season, Leicester sit just a single point above 18th-place Everton, but are priced at even money (2.0) with bet365 to finish in the top half – a position they are just three points from.
The talent of players like Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez should see the Midlands club to safety, although they can be backed at 12/1 (13.0) to be relegated after four seasons in the top flight.
Even the most pessimistic of Foxes fans could surely not see that happening, but a bottom-half finish is not out of the question, especially if the final table is anything like last season’s when just six points separated eighth and 17th; the online bookmaker offer 4/5 (1.80) that Leicester finish 11th or lower.
During his short tenure at Southampton. Puel guided the Hampshire club to eighth in the Premier League, and although he was criticised for his defensive style of football, the Saints shipped 48 goals and had the best defence of any club outside the top seven - whilst also reaching the EFL Cup final.
They say defence wins championships, though, and whilst toppling Manchester City seems unlikely for any club in the division, a top six finish at 20/1 (21.0) is an interesting punt as the volatility of big clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal strikes again.
The fixture list has been less than kind to Leicester so far, with the Foxes facing Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool inside their first six games, giving Puel a reasonable run of fixtures in the coming weeks to take his new side away from the drop zone.