Defeat not an option for Foxes

Friday 10th January 2014 16:18

Nigel Pearson: Hoping to extend Leicester's lead

Nigel Pearson: Hoping to extend Leicester's lead

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Leicester FanZoner Rich Mellor believes Friday night's clash with Derby is a must-win match for the Sky Bet Championship leaders.

Leicester will battle the division's form team in Derby County as they look to capitalise on their early kick-off and extend their advantage at the top of the table.

City are four points clear of fellow promotion hopefuls Burnley and five clear of Queens Park Rangers with both teams facing away trips on Saturday.

A victory over midlands rivals Derby could see them further that gap to seven points having already beaten The Rams twice this season - once in the league and once in the League Cup.

But Steve McClaren's side have lost just once in their last ten Championship games, winning eight and sharing the spoils against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.

City have coped incredibly well with the Christmas period despite losing their first two matches in December to Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton.

Four games in 11 days saw maximum points gained by Nigel Pearson's men, with ten goals scored in that period - Anthony Knockaert and David Nugent in amongst the scorers.

Having being knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Manchester City and the FA Cup by Stoke City within just 18 days of eachother, the Foxes have no further distractions in their bid to win the league.

As always, Pearson will look to add to the squad in the January transfer market to instil further depth into his side.

A deal confirmed today is 22-year-old French winger Riyad Mahrez from Ligue 2 side Le Havre on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Never heard of him? Not to worry. A similar signing like this happened a year and a half ago when Knockaert signed from Guingamp, and his talents have been pivotal to City's improvement last season and table-topping results this season.

And the signing has come at the right time with only Lloyd Dyer, Jeff Schlupp and Knockaert able to fulfil the position as a winger.

Signings aside, Pearson will have all his energy concentrated on tonight's crucial clash with three valuable points up for grabs.

A defeat, however, could see Derby close the gap on the league leaders to just four points.

Leicester must capitalise on their current position to prevent opening the gate for other teams to become title or promotion contenders.

Tonight's game isn't just about three points - it's about City marking their territory and letting the rest of the league know that they won't settle for anything less than the league title.

A win is a must.

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