19 September 2014 18:33
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson insists his side will play in a positive manner when they host Manchester United on Sunday.
Pearson’s men have made a promising start to life in the Premier League having taken five points from their first four games, recording a first top-flight win for 10 years with a 1-0 victory at Stoke City last weekend.
United head to the King Power Stadium with the same total, but should pose a far more imposing test for Leicester after showing signs of a recovery from a poor start under Louis van Gaal with an impressive 4-0 demolition of QPR last Sunday – the Dutchman’s maiden competitive triumph since taking over from David Moyes.
Angel di Maria was the man of the match, demonstrating why United paid a British-record fee of £59.7million to bring him to Old Trafford with an imperious midfield display.
And, with Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie all in contention to feature in an intimidating attacking line-up, Leicester fans could be forgiven for expecting a heavy defeat versus a side eager to re-establish themselves in the top four.
However, Pearson is relishing the clash and is adamant Leicester will approach the game with an attacking mindset.
“Man United have made their intentions clear this summer,” Pearson said. “[It is] an opportunity for our players to face a very good side.
“Internally we expect to maximise our qualities. Every game in the Premier League is tough but we play with positive intent.”
Pearson has reason to be optimistic ahead of the meeting given that the Midlands club have a near fully-fit squad to choose from.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is fit to return against the club his father Peter starred for between 1991 and 1999 after missing the win over Stoke due to a knee injury.
Schmeichel’s recovery means that Matthew Upson (ankle) will be Leicester’s only injury absentee, although on-loan United midfielder Nick Powell is ineligible to play against his parent club.
For Van Gaal the main selection issue surrounds whether to start Falcao – signed on a season-long loan from Monaco on transfer deadline day – after the United forward line displayed ruthless potency in the dismantling of QPR with the Colombian on the bench for much of the encounter.
The Dutchman suggested an out-of-form Van Persie would make way for Falcao should he be included from the start, after claiming Rooney had “more privileges” as captain.
Van Gaal’s options in reserve are limited by a number of injures, particularly in midfield, where Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick remain on the sidelines with ankle problems.
In defence, Chris Smalling returns from a groin injury, but Phil Jones (hamstring) remains on the injury list along with wingers Ashley Young (groin) and Jesse Lingard (knee)