Foxes hope to give City problems

16 December 2013 04:46

Nigel Pearson insists Leicester will not be out to merely make up the numbers when they face Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Manuel Pellegrini's side go into Tuesday night's tie flying high on confidence on the back of a superb 3-2 victory away at Champions League holders Bayern Munich and a 6-3 demolition of Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal at the weekend.

But Leicester also have their sights set on a season of success and currently sit third in the Sky Bet Championship as they chase a return to England's top tier.

They will put those aspirations to one side against Manchester City at the King Power Stadium as they look to replicate the kind of result which knocked out Fulham 4-3 in the last round of the competition.

"It's an opportunity for us to go out there and show what we can do," said Pearson, who acknowledges his team are underdogs.

"City are an excellent side with an exceptionally strong squad, but we have to go into it with the freedom to go and play.

"I expect our players to go out there and make it exceptionally hard for Man City. I don't think it's one of those where we'll just try and enjoy the occasion.

"We've worked hard to get this far in the competition, I want our players to go out there with drive.

"For us it's about doing what we can to make life difficult for Man City.

"We've done well so far and we're having a good season in the league, this is a good opportunity to go out there and put a good show on. You never know with cup competitions."

Having made seven changes in Munich and then eight against the Gunners, City are sure to utilise their squad for the cup clash against the Foxes.

Joe Hart could well get a run-out in goal while the likes of Edin Dzeko, Jesus Navas, Javi Garcia, James Milner, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov, Micah Richards, Jack Rodwell and Stevan Jovetic are all in the frame to start.

Pearson is unsure exactly how opposite number Pellegrini will opt to line up, but he is certain of one thing.

"Whatever team they start with, it'll be very, very strong," the Foxes boss said.

"They've proved that with how they've rotated for cup competitions and league fixtures, they've got plenty of depth in their squad.

"I'm pleased that my players have got an opportunity to play against one of the best sides, not just in this country but in the world."

Leicester are bidding to make the last four of the League Cup for the first time since winning the competition in 2000.

It was the third time in four seasons that Martin O'Neill had guided the midlands club to the final, lifting the trophy twice, with the other success a memorable victory over a Middlesbrough side containing Pearson in 1997.

Pearson did win the competition himself as a player at Sheffield Wednesday in 1991, and he knows all too well the positive values his Leicester side should hold on Tuesday against the might of Manchester City.

"I think games like this, we've worked hard to earn this tie and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't go out there and try to enjoy it," he added. "But to enjoy it we've got to play well and give them a few problems.

"We're not daft, we know they're a very good side but I don't think we should go into this game with anything other than high expectations of ourselves to make life difficult for them. If we do that then who knows?

"But we're going to have to be at our best, there's no doubt about that, because they have such depth in quality."

Leicester have no new injury or suspension concerns following Saturday's 1-1 draw against fellow promotion chasers Burnley, although Chris Wood (hamstring), Sean St Ledger (groin) and Tom Hopper (shin) remain sidelined.

Source: PA