Leicester City’s recent form has put them in exalted company. Only four teams in Europe have won more points than Nigel Pearson’s team in the last seven games: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Those 18 points have left Leicester on the brink of Premier League safety – a win at Sunderland today, coupled with Hull dropping points at Tottenham, would mean Leicester become just the third side to survive in the top flight after being bottom at Christmas.
A draw against Dick Advocaat’s side would be good enough if Hull lost at White Hart Lane and would cap a remarkable survival tale. But Pearson says he is going for nothing less than a win.
“We’re not all of a sudden going to be changing our preparation,” he said. “You have to be flexible enough to change enough during games. I’d rather draw than lose but because of our circumstances over the last two months draws are not as beneficial, especially against sides around you.
“Our preparation will be along the same lines it has been of late, which will be to produce the type of performance we have had in the last couple of months. It’s not as simple as saying we want to go out there and play well, it does help when you have a fit squad and we’ve had that for vast majority of the season.”
Advocaat has his own survival mission to contemplate and he is refusing to contemplate an extended stay at the Stadium of Light until safety is confirmed.
Sunderland are a point behind Leicester and two above the bottom three. Advocaat, who was parachuted in with nine games of the season to go, will not even consider the matter of staying beyond the final game of the current season until the battle to stay up is completed.
“I think it’s better to wait until after next weekend,” Advocaat said.
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