Nigel Pearson's Leicester are a division lower than Premier League Fulham but are widely expected to produce a Capital One Cup upset
As they prepare to entertain Fulham in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening, Leicester City find themselves in the unusual position of being favourites to beat a team from a higher division.
The Foxes are flying high the Sky Bet Championship while Fulham are struggling for Premier League consistency, but nevertheless the Cottagers – who have won three of their last five games including a Capital One Cup win against in-form Everton – would normally be expected to edge the tie.
Not that Leicester manager Nigel Pearson is taking too much note of what the bookies think of the odds as he looks for his team to take their superb home form into the Cup tie and hopefully into the quarter-finals of the competition.
The second in the table Foxes have won their last seven games at the King Power Stadium, among them a 2-1 Capital One Cup win against East Midland rivals Derby County, and Pearson is keen to extend the Cup run.
"Cup runs are great to be on if things are going well,” said the Leicester boss. "It only adds to the positive feeling that you get if you are going well in the league.
"When you get the chance to play against a Premier League outfit, I think that the players will look at it as a good opportunity to see where they are at themselves.
"It’s an opportunity for them to play against a side who are currently where we aspire to be. It will be interesting because we are playing against a side that has not been able to get their form right in terms of results in the league, but we know they have got some real quality in their ranks."
Pearson and his team also know that, wherever the two teams are lying in their respective divisions, taking on a Premier League team is always a tough task.
The Cottagers are 14th in the top flight table with just 10 points from nine games, but Pearson added: “We found out ourselves two seasons ago, when we played Chelsea in the Cup, that there is a gap. There is no doubt that there’s a gap between Premier League sides and Championship sides.
“So regardless of Fulham’s league position at the moment, we are very aware of their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important for us to try to play our way, but in doing that we have got to make sure we don’t leave ourselves too open.
“We have to be mindful of the fact that they are a Premier League outfit with lots of quality – but we will do everything we can to come away with a win.”