2 October 2014 16:48
Leicester City host Burnley at the King Power Stadium on Saturday after contrasting starts to their respective Premier League returns.
Nigel Pearson’s side ensured their return to the top flight by finishing nine points clear of Championship runners-up Burnley last term.
While Sean Dyche’s men have been handed a harsh reminder of the difficulties of life in the Premier League, Leicester have offered their fans cause for optimism.
The Midlands outfit head into Saturday’s clash off the back of a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, but they have picked up a famous win over Manchester United as well as a draw against Arsenal so far this season.
Despite turning in some impressive performances against the league’s bigger names, Pearson is well aware of the need to avoid slip-ups against those around and beneath them in the table.
“Whoever we play we need to give respect to. We expect it to be a tough game as we know from last season,” Pearson said on Thursday.
“Burnley showed qualities last year that stood them out and I fully expect them to show that this season too.
“We played okay in the first half at Palace, but we didn’t take our chances when we created them.
“We have very few players that aren’t available. The players have to be ready to take their chances when they come.
“Clean sheets over the course of the season will win you points. We always try to win games but we have to be hard to beat too.”
Burnley, meanwhile, are yet to secure their first Premier League win of the season after a goal-shy start that has seen them fail to score since the opening game of the campaign.
The Lancashire club were beaten 4-0 by West Brom last weekend, but Dyche is convinced his side are working in the right manner to turn things around.
“[Our] general performance has been good. The defence has been well documented yet the stats show we’re on line with the first six games of last year,” he said.
“I’m suggesting the team is performing in right manner but the challenge has got harder and the quality in front third has to be better.
“You need a clinical pass, clever movement and a clinical finish. We’re getting into the right area but the hardest thing for coaches and managers is to provide that final touch into the net.”
Dyche will once again be without first-choice strike duo Sam Vokes (knee) and Danny Ings (hamstring), as well as midfielder Matt Taylor (calf).
Burnley also have fears over Nathaniel Chalobah, who picked up a throat injury during a midweek reserve game against Hull City, with Dean Marney (hamstring) and David Jones (thigh) rated as doubtful.
Pearson has no fresh injury concerns, with Ritchie De Laet and Esteban Cambiasso expected to shake off knocks.