Leicester could suffer same fate as Leeds
Leicester's demise mirrors that of Leeds United in the 1992/93 season
Leicester City's title win last season was one of the most gloriously unexpected events in sporting history - and arguably the greatest achievement of any club side in the history of the game.
However, heading into the current campaign, not even the most myopic of Foxes fans dared to dream that Claudio Ranieri's men could bask in the glory of back-to-back titles.
The common consensus was that Leicester would finish just outside the top six, so their capitulation this season - Champions League form aside - has taken most completely by surprise.
Having said that, there is a precedent for this.
At the dawn of the Premier League era, the reigning champions of England were Leeds United, who had taken advantage of Manchester United's hectic late season fixture pile-up to deny Sir Alex Ferguson's men a first league title since 1967.
To pin Leeds' success solely on United's travails is doing Howard Wilkinson's side a huge disservice; Leeds lost only four times during the 42-game 1991-92 season, and performed like champions when it mattered most, picking up 13 points from a possible 15 in their final five fixtures.
Then came the ill-fated 1992/93 campaign.
Although their home record was once again one of the very best in the league - losing only once - Leeds failed to win a single game away from Elland Road all season.
As the campaign drew to a close, Leeds were in serious danger of "emulating" Manchester City's class of 1938 by being relegated as reigning champions.
They would ultimately finish two points above the dreaded drop zone.
As we enter this weekend's round of Premier League games, two points are all that separates Leicester from the bottom three.
And the similarities with Leeds' plight don't end there.
Despite being used primarily as a super sub by Wilkinson, Eric Cantona was a key figure in Leeds' success but, by November 1992, the French genius had joined the club's bitterest rivals Man United in a transfer that still defies belief.
A VERY DIFFERENT PLAYER
Although N'Golo Kante is a very different player to his fellow Frenchman, his absence from the Foxes' midfield has had an even more devastating impact.
Leeds also failed to strengthen in key areas before their title defence began; the brilliant but ageing Gordon Strachan was struggling physically, yet Wilkinson's only notable pre-season addition was David Rocastle, who he never seemed to fully trust in the Whites' engine room.
Likewise, Leicester's imposing centre halves, Wes Morgan and Robert Huth, are very much in the autumn of their careers, yet there is so little competition for defensive places that the twin towers are being constantly wheeled out.
Morgan has played every minute of Leicester's 33 competitive games this season, yet far too often the same back five that were cornerstones of the Foxes' title win are capitulating.
The only major difference between Leicester and Leeds' "vintage" side of 1992/93 are the Foxes' stellar displays in Europe.
Leeds were quickly eliminated from the Champions League by Glasgow Rangers in a memorable battle of Britain.
However, if Leicester don't start replicating their European form in the league, then the Foxes could begin next season in the unthinkable position of chasing an immediate return to the Premier League.
In fact, judging by Leeds' current resurgence, the two clubs could well be swopping places.
Richard Lenton is the lead presenter at Eleven Sports Network. Join Richard and his studio guests for Eleven's live coverage of the Premier League. For more details, visit www.elevensports.sg