Leicester City’s King Power stadium is gearing up for the biggest party in the club’s long history with the team set to be crowned Premier League champions at the end of a fairytale season on Saturday.
If Tottenham fail to beat Chelsea tonight the title will be Leicester’s for the very first time. Should Pochettino’s men manage to beat the Blues and keep the pressure on Leicester, the Foxes can finish the race in front of their own delirious fans by beating Everton at the King Power.
FOXES FANS CELEBRATE RETURN OF THE KINGS
Foxes fans will celebrate the return of their kings and particularly their deadly striker Jamie Vardy whose two match suspension ended at Old Trafford giving him the perfect chance to score the winner at home and crown a glorious season.
Vardy – who has scored 24 goals for club and country this campaign – picked up the Football Writers Player of the year award at a ceremony last night – just a week after Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez won the Players’ Player of the Year award.
THEATRE OF DREAMS AND HOLLYWOOD ENDING FOR FOXES
The Theatre of Dreams, the home of England’s most successful club in terms of domestic titles looked to be the perfect setting for a Hollywood ending to the most romantic of football stories told.
However, a nightmare was on the cards when United’s Antony Martial banged in the opener for the Red Devils to reward his side’s bright start to the match.
It took just nine minutes for the Foxes to respond with captain-fantastic Wes Morgan making the most of a set-piece to evade Marco Rojo and head in the equaliser.
Both sides had chances to claim all three points but neither could claim all three points so the coronation is delayed, aptly for the home fans to enjoy.
Manchester United fans know exactly what a team of champions looks like and what it takes to win a title. Their generous applause for the Leicester players leaving the pitch after Sunday’s 1-1 draw confirmed the belief – shared by all but the most die-hard Spurs fans – that they had just watched the most popular Premier League champions in British football history.
“We didn’t come here to win the title, we came here to make a performance because we knew it was a difficult match,” said a very “satisfied” Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri after.
“The draw was the right result. In the first 15 minutes, we were a little scared, but we scored in the right moment and then got more confidence.”
For Morgan: “It was very tough. Manchester United dominated possession and we had to dig in and be resilient. [The title] is not ours until we get two hands on the trophy.”
— Leicester City (@LCFC) 2 May 2016
FANS COUNTING ON THE TITLE
Fans counting on the title going to Leicester need the all important numbers that inform so many of the best online football tipsters – here are the numbers that matter:
77 points for Leicester from 36 games – 22 wins, 11 draws, 3 defeats with a +30 goal difference.
69 points for Spurs from 35 games – 19 wins, 12 draws, 4 defeats with a +39 goal difference.
79 points is the target and the Foxes can surpass that when they take on Roberto Martinez’s Everton on Saturday at the Kings Power.
3,000 Foxes fans belted out “We’re gonna win the league!” at the Theatre of Dreams – their side needs 2 points from 2 games
8 points separate second placed Tottenham and Leicester meaning the Londoners have to take maximum points from their final three games – starting tonight at Chelsea – and hope Leicester slip up.
26 years since Spurs have managed to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in February 1990.
THE CRUELLEST TWIST – GOAL DIFFERENCE
The cruellest twist to turn the dream into the most traumatising of nightmares for Foxes fans and possibly players is the looming spectre that is the outside chance that goal difference could still cost Leicester the title.
The top online football tipsters know that some of the very best odds in a two team race for the title are in the minutiae and some of the best value left in the market is to back Spurs to win the title – on goal difference.
If Chelsea beat Tottenham tonight then, of course, it’s all academic – but if Spurs win at the Bridge for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, the pressure will ramp up against the Foxes.
Fact is, if Leicester manage just a point from their last two games and Spurs win their last three the sides will end level on points and the Foxes will have been toppled by virtue of the Spurs chasers’ nine goal superior goal difference (ahead of tonight’s game against Chelsea).
Everton’s away form has saved them from a relegation fight this season and the Toffees will be a far tougher task at the King Power than their league position might suggest, and online football tipsters will remind.
Only Manchester City have scored more than Tottenham this season – 68 compared to 65; Leicester have scored 64 – and Spurs have comfortably the best defensive record with just 26 conceded – Leicester are second with 34 goals against.
GARY LINEKER IN HIS PANTS
Gary Lineker has famously promised to host the iconic BBC Match of the Day programme wearing only his underpants if Leicester manage win the title. The former Leicester legend – who went on to play for Everton, Barcelona and Spurs as well as England- was reminded of his promise by none other than the Foxes boss after the Man Utd match.
Met Claudio Ranieri after the game. He said “Gary, I don’t want to see you do MOTD in your pants.” Yes you do, Claudio.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 1, 2016
By: Joe Cahal