LONDON (AP) — The Premier League trophy arrived in Leicester on Friday for a promotional tour. It will surely be back next month with Leicester City etched into the solid silver for the first time.
The leaders can wrap up their improbable pursuit of the biggest prize in English football on Sunday with a victory at Manchester United.
Delivering the 132-year-old club's first title at the home of the record 20-time English champions would be the Hollywood ending craved by manager Claudio Ranieri.
"It's unbelievable, it's history and we know this," Ranieri said Friday. "It is important to finish the story like an American movie. Always in the final it is OK, a happy ending.
"It's a good opportunity but for this reason we have to be focused. Let me be calm, wait, we have time."
The trip to Old Trafford is the first of three opportunities to claim the required victory as Leicester has a seven-point lead over Tottenham. Even if Leicester fails to beat fifth-place United, the title can be clinched by Monday:
— If Leicester loses at United, it needs Tottenham to also lose at Chelsea.
— If Leicester draws at United, Tottenham has to win at Chelsea to keep the title race going.
Leicester, which is unbeaten in the league since February, will again be missing 22-goal top scorer Jamie Vardy as the striker serves the second match of his suspension. But the Foxes more than adequately coped without Vardy last weekend as Stoke was routed 4-0.
Leicester City's Top Moments of 2015-16
The first points; Aug. 8, 2015
In what turned out to be a sign of things to come, Jamie Vardy scored the club's first goal 11 minutes into the season and Riyad Mahrez scored two of his own to give Leicester a 3-0 lead 25 minutes into a 4-2 win over Sunderland at King Power Stadium.
Immediate response vs. Spurs; Aug. 22, 2015
Riyad Mahrez answered Dele Alli's 81st-minute goal a minute later, and even though Leicester suffered its first non-win of the campaign in the 1-1 home draw against Tottenham, it showed a promising resiliency against a club it would be fending off down the stretch.
Comeback vs. Villa; Sept. 13, 2015
Facing a 2-0 deficit at home to lowly Aston Villa, Leicester mounted a furious comeback, with Ritchie De Laet, Riyad Mahrez and Nathan Dyer scoring in the 72nd, 82nd and 89th minutes, respectively, to steal three points in dramatic fashion.
Another 2-0 comeback; Sept. 19, 2015
Again down 2-0, Leicester rescued another point from a losing position at Stoke City. The Potters raced out to their lead within 20 minutes, but Riyad Mahrez's penalty and Jamie Vardy's 69th-minute equalizer salvaged the point.
Vardy rescues a point; Oct. 17, 2015
Leicester found itself down 2-0 to Southampton (sensing a theme here?) but roared back late. Jamie Vardy scored twice, once in the 66th minute and the dramatic equalizer a minute into stoppage time, earning the Foxes another point from a losing position.
Clean-sheet pizza; Oct. 24, 2015
It took 10 games and a promise of a pizza party from manager Claudio Ranieri for Leicester to keep a clean sheet, but the Foxes did just that in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. The pizza promise became an instant part of Leicester lore, and the club went on to keep 14 more clean sheets–including six in seven games down the stretch.
Vardy's scoring record; Nov. 28, 2015
Jamie Vardy set a Premier League record scoring in his 11th straight game in a 1-1 draw vs. Manchester United. Ruud van Nistelrooy previously held the mark.
Sweet revenge for Ranieri; Dec. 14, 2015
With manager Claudio Ranieri facing Chelsea–the team that ushered him out in 2004–and squaring off against Jose Mourinho–the man who replaced him–Leicester wound up with the bragging rights and three points. Jamie Vardy scored off a perfect Riyad Mahrez pass, Mahrez added a gorgeous goal of his own, Leicester won 2-1 and Mourinho was promptly fired.
Schmeichel saves a point; Dec. 29, 2015
On the heels of a Boxing Day loss to Liverpool, Leicester proved its title chops by holding contender Manchester City to a 0-0 draw. Kasper Schmeichel made a pair of key first-half saves, and Leicester bounced back three days after the setback to secure a meaningful point.
Huth's header beats Spurs; Jan. 13, 2016
Defender Robert Huth's perfect 83rd-minute header from Christian Fuchs's corner–his first goal since last April–gave Leicester a 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane, snapping a three-game winless run. Given how the title race would come down to the two clubs, the point swing has proven to be massive.
Vardy's wonder-volley vs. Liverpool; Feb. 2, 2016
Jamie Vardy scored twice in a February win over Liverpool, but it was his first goal that had the world talking. After running down a long ball from Riyad Mahrez, Vardy unleashed a 25-yard volley off the bounce to stun the Reds and help Leicester exact revenge for one of its three losses on the season.
Huth scores two at Man City; Feb. 6, 2016
A match at Manchester City was supposed to be the start of Leicester's downfall, but the Foxes were having none of that. Robert Huth scored in the third minute to shock the Etihad faithful, and he added another later to proclaim Leicester's intentions in a 3-1 win.
Ulloa beats Norwich late; Feb. 27, 2016
Both times Leicester lost to Arsenal it followed up with wins over Norwich City to right the ship. The second time was far more thrilling, with Leonardo Ulloa scoring an 89th-minute winner at King Power Stadium to put the title ship back on course.
Officially safe! March 1, 2016
Not that it was ever remotely in doubt, but Leicester ensured safety from relegation with a 2-2 home draw vs. West Brom. Given Claudio Ranieri's cautious approach to overstating goals, the preseason expectations and last season's heroic charge out of the drop zone, the achievement was still notable and allowed Leicester to officially look ahead to bigger things.
Kante returns, Mahrez scores vs. Watford; March 5, 2016
Vital midfielder N'Golo Kante returned from an injury and Riyad Mahrez scored a highlight-reel goal–again–as Leicester won at Watford 1-0 to keep pressure on Tottenham and Arsenal in the title chase. The club's record away from home (11-2-4) is a big driver of its overall success.
Okazaki's bicycle kick beats Newcastle; March 14, 2016
Shinji Okazaki's bicycle kick goal gave Leicester a nervy 1-0 win over Newcastle on a day which Leicester entered leading Tottenham by just two points in the Premier League table.
Captain Morgan helps Leicester extend lead; April 3, 2016
With Tottenham dropping points to Liverpool the previous day, Leicester took full advantage. Defender and captain Wes Morgan scored his only goal of the season in a 1-0 win over Southampton that stretched the club's lead atop the table to seven points.
Leicester clinches Champions League place; April 10, 2016
It went overlooked given the club's title aspirations, but Leicester clinched an almost equally improbable place in next season's Champions League with a 2-0 win at Sunderland, cementing a top-four place. Jamie Vardy's two goals did the honors.
Ulloa's late equalizing PK vs. West Ham; April 17, 2016
Leonardo Ulloa calmly converted a penalty kick deep into second-half stoppage time to cap a game full of controversy and secure a vital point in a 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Ulloa scores two in Vardy's absence; April 24, 2016
With leading scorer Jamie Vardy suspended because of a referee altercation in the previous match vs. West Ham, Leonardo Ulloa stepped into the starting lineup and scored twice in a 4-0 rout of Swansea City. A Tottenham draw the following day put Leicester in position to clinch the title with three points from its final three games.
The Vardy Party; May 2, 2016
Leicester players gathered at Jamie Vardy's house to watch Chelsea take on Tottenham in the decisive match in the title race. It was the Vardy Party to top all Vardy Parties, as Leicester was crowned champion following the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Ranieri's Guard of Honor; May 14, 2016
Claudio Ranieri returns to Stamford Bridge, where he was jettisoned in 2004 for Jose Mourinho, and steps through Chelsea's guard of honor, which the outgoing champions provided for Leicester City.
Elsewhere in the Premier League this weekend:
By the time Tottenham travels across London on Monday to Chelsea, keeping hold of second place could be the remaining target. Leicester beating United would ensure Tottenham cannot drop out of the top four, ensuring a return to the Champions League after six years.
A young, developing Tottenham team was not expected to be so high up in the standings at this stage of the season. Now the second-place London club remains on course for its highest finish in more than 50 years.
And manager Mauricio Pochettino is ready to commit his future to Tottenham, disclosing Friday that he has verbally agreed to stay with the club until at least 2021.
Chelsea, which is preparing to hand the Premier League trophy over to Leicester, has not lost at home to Tottenham in any competition since February 1990.
Arsene Wenger is on the defensive, trying to dampen the mutinous mood among some fans' groups.
Anger has mounted now the team has gone a dozen years without lifting the Premier League trophy.
"Some groups of people try to manipulate our fans," Wenger said ahead of Saturday's game against Norwich. "And I believe apart from an agenda, a personal agenda, a big ego, there's not a lot behind it.
"This team has character and attitude. Some people question them. I know them well, and they have less character than this team have. I saw them play and I know them very closely, and they shouldn't question this team's character."
Top at the start of 2016 entering the second half of the season, Arsenal is fourth entering the final three games of the season. Now the priority is slipping any further and falling out of the Champions League places.
"When a club cannot enjoy anything anymore, it's in trouble," Wenger said. "In football you go down very quickly and come up very slowly. We have to stick together."
Manchester City's priority is progressing in the Champions League, with Manuel Pellegrini's side locked at 0-0 in their semifinal with Real Madrid which resumes in the Spanish capital on Wednesday.
But City's players have to face Southampton on Sunday, while Madrid's domestic fixture is on Saturday, ensuring an extra day's rest before the second leg.
Pellegrini failed to get the Southampton game brought forward from Sunday afternoon to Saturday. It's still a significant game for the club, with City only ahead of Arsenal due to its superior goal difference. United is five points behind them but with a game in hand.
"In the Premier League, I don't understand why when having so many games, and they all have the same interest, that we can't play one day before to have 24 hours (more rest), at least having the same as Real Madrid," Pellegrini said.
City will be without David Silva for the second leg as the playmaker recovers from a hamstring injury.
Sunderland can stay out of the relegation zone by beating Stoke. Behind the north-east club in the drop zone, due to an inferior goal difference, is Norwich. Newcastle is a point back as it prepares to host FA Cup finalist Crystal Palace.