Gray wants Leicester to stage stylish celebration
Leicester winger Demarai Gray has called on the Premier League champions to mark their coronation with a dazzling display against Everton on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri’s side were crowned the most unlikely champions in the history of English football on Monday after being 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season.
The Foxes’ title celebrations began once the final whistle sounded at Stamford Bridge following second placed Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea and the party reaches a crescendo this weekend.
A 32,000 capacity crowd will pack the King Power Stadium to salute their fairytale champions, with the club’s Thai owners set to lay on free pizza and beer as a thank you to the supporters.
Andrea Bocelli, one of the world’s leading tenors and a friend of Ranieri, will serenade the fans before kick-off and the Premier League trophy will be presented to Leicester captain Wes Morgan after full-time.
In between the celebrations, there is the fairly insignificant matter of playing their final home game of the season, but England Under-21 international Gray knows it will help the get the party in full swing if Leicester can turn on the style against Everton.
“It’s a dream for the whole city. The whole city is buzzing, we have created history. For a team right at the bottom last year to Premier League champions — nothing has happened like that,” Gray said.
“Credit to everyone. Since I’ve been here the fans have been unbelievable, they have been right behind us and we need that. Everyone should be buzzing right now and just enjoy it.
“We have the Champions League to look forward to so the feelings don’t stop. The season hasn’t finished and we’ve won it already.
“We have done it in the best way and hopefully we can get the win at the weekend and lift the trophy in style.”
– Huth ban –
Leicester’s Robert Huth will miss Saturday’s game after admitting a Football Association charge of violent conduct for pulling the hair of Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last weekend.
Fellaini, who reacted by striking Huth with an elbow, was also banned for three games and will miss United’s end to the Premier League season, although the Belgian midfielder will be available for the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.
Tottenham, who were last crowned champions of England back in 1961, will look to put the crushing disappointment of their draw at Stamford Bridge behind them at home to manager Mauricio Pochettino’s former club Southampton.
Spurs are at least assured of a Champions League place, with two of their top four rivals going head-to-head when Manchester City face Arsenal on Sunday.
City will still be smarting from Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League as manager Manuel Pellegrini’s time at Eastlands — he will be replaced by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola next season — draws to a close.
Manchester United travel to relegation-threatened Norwich in a must-win game for both sides.
United are four points off a top four place and manager Louis van Gaal is convinced a debilitating pre-Christmas injury list damaged their chances this term.
“I can only say that in the end of November we had first position, after that we had a big decline. These are the facts,” van Gaal said. “Also the injuries are a fact.”
Sunderland will continue their bid to climb out of the bottom three at home to Chelsea while Newcastle, just above the drop zone, travel to already relegated Aston Villa.
Palace, still not mathematically safe from relegation, face Stoke at Selhurst Park.
Liverpool, fresh from reaching the Europa League final after beating Villarreal at Anfield on Thursday, host Watford on Sunday.
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