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Published: 16:06 | 21/12/15

Martinez: Leicester can win the league

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Leicester deserve to be considered title contenders after an impressive first half of the season.

The Foxes have been consistently in the top five of the Premier League this season and moved two points clear at the top of the table with a 2-1 win over Chelsea on Monday evening. Victory against Everton on Saturday would ensure Claudio Ranieri's team sit top at Christmas.

Many believe they will drop out of contention as the season progresses, but Martinez sees no reason why they cannot end the season as champions.

"Leicester deserve to be top of the league. I think Claudio Ranieri deserves all the credit for developing the belief in that team," Martinez told his pre-match press conference.

"Of course they are (title contenders). I don't see why they shouldn't (win it). It's not because they are top of the league, it's because they've been so competitive in every game.I've seen a real change. The first two or three fixtures, they were testing themselves and seeing how they could compete. Now it's different.

"The last few games, there's an incredible belief. They go out knowing they're going to win the football game, and I think when you develop that momentum, it can be very powerful.

"Of course in a competition of 10 months you're relying on (a lack of) suspensions, injuries, you have to be a bit fortunate, and Leicester is no different, but, where they are now, the way they are playing and the momentum that they achieved, they are capable of achieving anything this season."

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