King Power awaits the crown

LONDON • The King Power Stadium will stage Leicester City's coronation as Premier League champions today, when Claudio Ranieri's miracle team receive the trophy after their final home game against Everton.

The Italian manager has admitted that he is torn between urging his team to power over the line and wanting to enjoy the moment, saying on Thursday: "Inside me there are two people.

"One is very aggressive - I want to win. I won the Premier League, but now I want to win on Saturday. I want to win next season - and is never satisfied.

"Another says, 'Claudio, how many managers are there in the world? Too many. Not everyone can be Sir Alex Ferguson, (Fabio) Capello, (Carlo) Ancelotti. You are having a very good career.'"

The Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will set the tone with pre-match renditions of Nessun Dorma and Time To Say Goodbye, honouring a recent promise to his compatriot.

After the match, the trophy will be presented to Leicester captain Wes Morgan by life-long supporter Steve Worthy, who won a competition organised by the league's sponsor Barclays.

While there is nothing riding on the game for either side, Leicester's top scorer Jamie Vardy, on 22 goals and back from suspension, can close the three-goal gap separating him and Tottenham's Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.

Midfielder Danny Drinkwater and centre-back Robert Huth are suspended. Andy King and Marcin Wasilewski are expected to deputise and Ranieri may give game-time to other players who have played supporting roles in this campaign.

Last weekend's 2-1 victory over Bournemouth brought an end to Everton's seven-game winless streak. And, despite the anticipated festive atmosphere, manager Roberto Martinez has urged his players to make their presence felt.

"Clearly they (Leicester) are going to be playing with swagger," said the Spaniard. "We'll congratulate them and from that point on, we'll focus on trying to perform against them."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2016, with the headline 'King Power awaits the crown'. Print Edition | Subscribe