What Leicester now need to be crowned as champions

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Okazaki's spectacular goal was enough to beat Newcastle
Okazaki's spectacular goal was enough to beat Newcastle

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri continues to avoid questions about his side ambitions to win the Premier League title - but they are edging ever closer to an historic achievement.

Shinji Okazaki's stunning goal restored Leicester's five-point lead in the title race as Rafael Benitez's Newcastle bow ended in defeat.

Striker Okazaki won a forgettable game with an unforgettable first-half overhead kick as the Foxes maintained their grip on the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 victory.

Tottenham's 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday had put Claudio Ranieri's men under pressure but they won with minimum fuss, despite not being at their best at the King Power Stadium.

They go to Crystal Palace on Saturday at the end of the five-game run which Ranieri had labelled as key to their chances, having won 10 points from 12.

Yet Ranieri again refused to accept his side are now ready to clinch the Premier League crown as he stated: "It wasn't the best performance from us, but we showed fantastic spirit.

"We defended very well. It wasn't nervy in the second half, the team was so close and compact.

"I feel now that I am just concentrating on the next game against Crystal Palace. We are so strong, we think only one game at a time. Step by step, that is our philosophy.

"We are fighting for Europe and then maybe with four or five matches left, maybe we are fighting for the Champions League. I want to fight every match."

No-one believes Ranieri's sentiments, as Leicester are now edging close to a position that means the title is theirs to lose, with their remaining games highlighted in this Sky Sports graphic:

Leicester need to collect 20 points from these remaining eight matches to win the title, with the maximum points their closest rivals Spurs can now collect being 82 points.

Arsenal can get a maximum of 79 points and City one less than that total, yet the inconsistent form of their chief rivals means the Foxes may be able to have a few slip ups and still be crowned as champions.

Here are the latest odds on the title contenders from Paddy Power: