Leicester look for a final ace in the pack as they prepare for their must-win clash against Burnley at the Walkers Stadium.
After Reading’s slim victory over Preston on Tuesday night the Foxes are now seven points adrift of the top six, and must claim all three points against the Clarets if they are to have any hope of making a push for the Premier League.
But Eddie Howe’s Burnley are themselves also chasing a play-off spot, and find themselves six points off Reading with a game in hand.
Howe himself will feel the need for victory at the Walkers, where no Burnley side has ever lost.
Both clubs were pushing hard for a top six place weeks ago, but indifferent form has seen both lose vital grounding on their fellow chasers.
Burnley’s aforementioned record at Filbert Way has seen them rack up victories on their last three trips to the Walkers.
But Leicester’s woeful record against the Clarets has more more history, having not beaten Saturday’s visitors at home since 1978.
Indeed, the Foxes found deep trouble at Turf Moor earlier in the campaign when goals from Ross Wallace, Chris Iwelumo and Gary Alexander completed a 3-0 rout.
This was admittedly during the first nine matches of the campaign which eventually saw City rooted to the bottom of the division, however.
Sven-Goran Eriksson knows his side must take full advantage of their home clash, and will not want to see his side’s play-off hopes dashed so early in the season.
Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson: “We have to go for it, but hopefully make some better decisions defensively. We have to score goals. We have no other choice.
“It could be season-defining if we don’t win tomorrow.”
Leicester Team News:
Leicester could be without right-back Kyle Naughton, who has missed training through illness this week.
Chelsea loanee Jeffrey Bruma is definitely out through suspension after his red card at Middlesbrough last week, but Ben Mee should be fit to return at the heart of defence.
Player to watch: Andy King
King is likely to return after sitting out the Middlesbrough draw, and will be determined to prove his worth to the side.
And Leicester need him. Not only for his goals, but for the reasons of relative absence highlighted by Eriksson recently.
Burnley Team News:
Goalkeeper Brian Jensen could get the nod ahead of Lee Grant between the sticks, but Danny Fox is suspended.
Chris McCann, Charlie Austin, Martin Paterson and Steven Thompson are all injured.
Player to watch: Jay Rodriguez
Rodriguez has been one of the shining lights of Burnley’s push towards the play-offs, earning a call-up to Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21 squad along the way.
Match Facts & Stats
– Leicester have won only one of their last seven games.
– They are also hoping to end their run of back-to-back home defeats.
– The Foxes are yet to keep a clean sheet in the Championship in 2011.
We need all three points here, so let’s be optimistic. Leicester 2-1 Burnley.
Tuesday 12th April
Crystal Palace (H)