21 August 2014 16:41
Nigel Pearson sees Saturday’s trip to Chelsea as a good chance for his Leicester City side to test their progress.
Leicester waltzed to the Championship title last term and made an encouraging start on their Premier League return last weekend.
The club’s first top-flight match in more than 10 years saw them snatch a 2-2 home draw against Everton thanks to Chris Wood’s late leveller.
Visiting title favourites Chelsea is another matter altogether, but Pearson – whose side realistically have little to lose – has urged his players to take the game to their opponents.
Pearson said on Thursday: “We’ve got to get our preparation right and it’ll be a good opportunity to test ourselves.
“We need to do as well as we can.
“They have real pedigree and knowhow in this division, but we have to create opportunities for ourselves there.
“I have huge respect for [Chelsea boss] Jose Mourinho but the most important thing for me is seeing how my players cope with the occasion.”
Pearson will hope his side’s visit to Stamford Bridge goes better than their last, with Chelsea cruising to a 5-2 win in an FA Cup quarter-final in March 2012.
As expected, Pearson ruled out midfield pair Danny Drinkwater (hamstring) and Matty James (shin), but said that winger Marc Albrighton and forward Jamie Vardy could have a role to play in west London.
“It’s probably a week too early for Danny Drinkwater and Matty James, but they aren’t far away,” he added.
“Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton have been training and there is a possibility of them being in the squad for Chelsea.”
On Vardy, Pearson said: “He’s gone from the Conference to the Premier League, and I’m sure he’ll make the transition this season.”