October 02, 2014

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has praised the response of his players to the mental as well as physical challenges of top-flight football ahead of Saturday's home match against fellow Premier League new boys Burnley.

"There are a lot more high intensity movements so you've got to factor in the mental side of the game," said Pearson. "It's even more important. A number of the games we've played so far, we've not had a lot of the ball compared to last year.

"That means you're having to work exceptionally hard when you don't have it. We do like to press from time to time but also the concentration levels have to be maintained for longer periods because you come up against a lot of sides who keep the ball very well."

Leicester (2-2-2) were beaten 2-0 at Crystal Palace last weekend after recording back-to-back victories against Stoke City and Manchester United.

The Foxes are in 12th place on eight points after a much better start to the season than Saturday's opponents Burnley.

Sean Dyche's Burnley (0-3-3) have so far struggled to come to terms with the demands of the Premier League. The Clarets are bottom of the table with just three points from their six matches and still searching for their first league win.

The Clarets lost 4-0 at West Bromwich Albion last weekend after a run of three of goalless draws against Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Sunderland.

Burnley have now gone five full Premier League games without scoring. Scott Arfield's strike 14 minutes into the season opening 3-1 home defeat against Chelsea has been the Clarets' lone tally in league play. They've now gone 526 minutes without a goal, and a failure to find the back of the net versus the Foxes would mark the first six-game scoreless stretch in the top flight since Reading did so from March 29-May 3, 2008.

To add to his worries, Burnley manager Dyche will be without key players for the trip to Leicester.

"We're really stretched at the moment, particularly in midfield which is well documented," Dyche told his club's official website. "We've got injuries to David Jones and Dean Marney and unfortunately Matt Taylor and Nathaniel Chalobah as well.

"Nathaniel went down and took a bad knock to the throat in the week and we've been advised that he can't play due to it being a delicate and important area. He's in no danger but on the night his voicebox and his throat was swelling so we had to get him off and make sure he got to hospital as a precaution."

The Clarets are also still without first-choice strikers Sam Vokes (knee) and Danny Ings (hamstring).

Leicester duo Ritchie De Laet and Esteban Cambiasso have been declared fit for Saturday's match, while Matthew Upson and Zoumana Bakayogo remain on the sidelines.

The Foxes took four points off Burnley last season in the Championship. The sides drew 1-1 at the King Power Stadium in December as Ings cancelled out a first-half David Nugent penalty. Leicester won 2-0 at Turf Moor in March, with Nugent and Chris Wood scoring the goals.

Leicester are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with Burnley, winning five times and drawing twice going back to August 2010. All seven meetings came in the second-tier Championship.

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