English Premiership

Martinez expecting no gifts at Leicester

2016-05-05 18:49
Kasper Schmeichel (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Everton do not expect Leicester City to ease off for Saturday's clash at the King Power Stadium despite the fixture coming six days after the Foxes were confirmed as Premier League champions, manager Roberto Martinez has said.

Leicester clinched the English league title for the first time in their 132-year history on Monday when second-placed Tottenham Hotspur drew at Chelsea, leaving them seven points behind the leaders with only two games left to play.

Claudio Ranieri's men will be presented with the Premier League trophy after Saturday's game regardless of the result.

"I don't think in a 90 minute game where the stadium will be surrounded in an historic environment, I'm sure that can only be positive for the home team," Martinez told reporters on Thursday.

"They have been a real inspiration in terms of a winning team, and not just in football, throughout sport... has been the real fairytale of football and sport in general in the modern game."

Martinez has come under increasing pressure with a number of supporters remaining inside Goodison Park after Saturday's 2-1 win over Bournemouth to unfurl banners calling for the Spaniard to end his three-year tenure.

Everton exited the FA Cup and League Cup in the semifinals this season and Martinez felt their woeful home form in the league, with eight of their 11 losses coming at Goodison Park, has cost the Merseyside club.

Martinez also urged his side to maintain the "integrity of the league" despite the club having secured their top-flight status for next season and the European spots being out of reach.

"Every position from now until the end of the season matters, it has got huge financial implications, a huge role in the integrity of the league," the 42-year-old said.

"Our home form hasn't been good enough and what we don't want is going into the last game that we have at home and we don't finish strong."

Everton duo Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman had a small chance of featuring against the Foxes, while winger Gerard Deulofeu was likely to miss the remainder of the campaign through injury, Martinez confirmed.

11th-placed Everton face relegation-threatened sides Sunderland and Norwich City after Saturday's trip to Leicester.


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