Europe the target for Leicester’s Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi is confident his Leicester side can break into the top six - or better - and qualify for Europe this season.
The Foxes were involved in the fight for European football last term but ended up coming in ninth.
Wolverhampton Wanderers picked up five points more than the Foxes and grabbed the final European spot with a seventh place finish, which saw them enter the Europa League qualification rounds.
Leicester changed managers midway through last season as Brendan Rodgers replaced Claude Puel in February and Ndidi believes his side can challenge for European football in the former Liverpool and Celtic boss’ first full season in charge.
The top four will qualify for the Champions League and as it stands the team in fifth will qualify for the Europa League, although there may well be more European spots on offer depending on who wins the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
Ndidi feels Leicester are more than capable of challenging for a top six finish and he believes the King Power Stadium club could even break into the top four.
“Top six? I would say top three [is possible] but we have to get the points out of the games before we can place ourselves at the top.” Ndidi said on Sky Sports.
Leicester last competed in Europe in the 2016-17 season as they reached the Champions League after their historic Premier League title success.
The Foxes reached the last eight of Europe’s top tournament that season but were eliminated by La Liga heavyweights Atletico Madrid, who then lost to city rivals Real in the next round.
There is of course a chance Leicester could qualify for Europe this term via a cup competition as both the EFL Cup and FA Cup come with a Europa League place but if they are to do it via the Premier League they’ve made a solid start.
The Foxes have picked up eight points from four games so far and sit third in the table. Leicester have also passed their first big test of the campaign after claiming a 1-1 draw at Chelsea, who are rivals for the European places, with Ndidi grabbing their equaliser after Mason Mount had put Chelsea ahead.
Leicester made some impressive additions over the summer as Ayoze Perez joined from Newcastle and Youri Tielemans made a permanent move from Monaco.
Rodgers’ men do look genuine European contenders at this stage but their chances could well rest on keeping their key men fit, particularly Jamie Vardy as he has scored three of their six league goals so far.
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.