The top two teams in the Barclays Premier League meet when Leicester City welcome Manchester United to King Power Stadium on Saturday and Claudio Ranieri, the Foxes manager, is keen to see how his players cope in the spotlight.
Jamie Vardy, the Leicester striker, is hoping to break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record by netting for an 11th consecutive BPL match when he faces the Dutchman’s former side.
Vardy’s 13 goals have helped Leicester to 28 points and 28 goals from their opening 13 matches.
Ranieri still insists his first target is to reach 40 points but feels his players deserve their current position at the top of the division and looks forward to seeing how they cope with the test of facing United, whom they beat 5-3 in this fixture last season.
“I am very curious about how we respond to these big matches,” he said. “We know that sooner or later we will lose but we just want to show our great character. The spirit of our group is so strong.
“Saturday is a great challenge for us to improve. We have had good matches but we also have weaknesses and we have to cover them. We are top of the table and in this moment we deserve it, but this is another match to understand where we can improve.”
United won 2-1 against Watford thanks to a stoppage-time goal last weekend, but were held to a 0-0 home draw by PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Ashley Young is eager to rebound from that draw with a win that would send United into first place.
“We will be looking to keep up the good form we have shown in the league over the last few weeks, and hopefully get the three points,” he said. “There is a lot of disappointment around the place, we have just got to pick ourselves up now and go again at the weekend.”
Matty James (knee) is Leicester’s only injury concern. United are without long-term absentees Luke Shaw (leg) and Antonio Valencia (foot), while Ander Herrera (hamstring) and Phil Jones (ankle) are also ruled out. James Wilson has gone on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion, while Van Gaal gave no update to Michael Carrick’s foot injury.
Leicester City (from): Schmeichel, Schwarzer, Benalouane, De Laet, Fuchs, Huth, Morgan, Simpson, Wasilewski, Albrighton, Drinkwater, Dyer, Hammond, Inler, Kante, King, Mahrez, Schlupp, Dodoo, Kramaric, Okazaki, Ulloa, Vardy.
Manchester United (from): De Gea, Romero, Johnstone, Valdes, Darmian, McNair, Rojo, Smalling, Varela, Blind, Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Mata, Pereira, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Young, Depay, Martial, Rooney.