Sport Soccer

Thursday 8 December 2016

Pearson - I'll pick a strong side

Published 27/04/2015 | 16:01

Nigel Pearson's Leicester side have won four straight games in the Barclays Premier League
Nigel Pearson's Leicester side have won four straight games in the Barclays Premier League

Nigel Pearson insisted it is an "insult" to suggest he would pick a weakened team to face Chelsea as Leicester battle the drop.

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The Foxes boss is adamant he will pick his strongest possible side for their game against the leaders on Wednesday.

Leicester have won four straight games in the Barclays Premier League and are out of the bottom three for the first time since November.

Chelsea will win the title if they beat the Foxes and then Crystal Palace on Sunday while Leicester are a point above the relegation zone.

They host Newcastle in Saturday's early kick-off as well but Pearson vowed he will not prioritise games and weaken his side.

He said: "We expect them to be at their best as I am sure they will expect us to be at our best.

"I think any questions that intimate there may be a hint of lack of commitment is pretty poor personally, from either side. I think that is an insult to our professionalism.

"My angle on it, and I will make it very clear again, is the considerations we have in relation to selecting the team for this game will go along the same lines as we do for every game.

"That is to pick the strongest and best side for this fixture.

"What is our strongest side? Do you know? It is a loaded question. Our fundamental priority is getting it right for us.

"A weakened side is being disrespectful to our squad of players. I've never picked a side which doesn't have the integrity of any competition in mind."

David Nugent and Jeff Schlupp are struggling with calf problems while Jamie Vardy needed an injection in his foot before scoring the winner in Saturday's 1-0 victory at relegation rivals Burnley.

The trio will be assessed ahead of the game at the King Power Stadium where Chelsea cannot now win the title after their goalless draw with Arsenal on Sunday.

And Pearson expects Jose Mourinho's side to be as strong as ever as they close in on the crown.

He added: "If they play a counter-attacking game they are very strong. If they play a very offensive game they are very strong.

"They have the capabilities of being able to deal with most situations that are thrown at them. They are an exceptional team."

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