Leicester City v Sheffield United: Wilder expecting full-strength Foxes challenge

Leicester City manager Claude Puel (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire).
Leicester City manager Claude Puel (Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire).
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AFTER a glittering trophy addition in the shape of the Premier League title in 2015-16, Leicester City will have their sights firmly set on another prize piece of silverware two seasons on.

This is the assertion of Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder who believes that the Foxes will not be treating tonight’s FA Cup tie lightly in any way, shape or form.

It is backed up by the comments of Leicester manager Claude Puel, who has confirmed he will field a strong line-up and avoid the Premier League tendency of fielding a weakened side and resting players for league duties.

Since arriving in late October the Frenchman has steadied the ship impressively at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes have pulled away from relegation trouble to rise up to eighth place in the top flight with a nine-point buffer above the drop zone.

The run has effectively enabled Leicester – whose last FA Cup final appearance came in 1969 – to ‘attack’ the competition.

Puel’s squad will include winger Riyad Mahred, who could start this evening after returning to the Leicester squad last weekend following a self-imposed 10-day absence from the club sparked by the breakdown of a proposed move to Manchester City.

Wilder, without the suspended duo of John Fleck and Simon Moore and the ineligible trio of Lee Evans, Ryan Leonard and Ricky Holmes, said: “The form they have been on since the new manager came in has been outstanding. They are one of the form teams.

“But it is not just about managers, it’s about players.

“It is a really difficult tie for us, no matter what team they play.

“I think they will see it as an opportunity of winning a trophy this year. Whoever starts, whatever the 18, I think they will be strong as they possibly can be and see it as an opportunity.

“It is all set up for them to go through because they are at home. That is not me taking the pressure off, but there is always a glimmer that it can be our day as it has been in the past in cup ties. We want to make the most of that.”

Leicester captain Wes Morgan could return tonight, but Shinji Okazaki (knee) is still out.

Last six games: Leicester WWWLDL Sheffield United DWWLLW.

Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).

Last time: Leicester 2 Sheffield United 2; November 10, 2010; Championship.