Leicester City v Stoke City: Hughes urges caution ahead of King Power trip
Mark Hughes insists Stoke City travel to the King Power Stadium on Saturday wary of Leicester City's upturn in form in the Premier League.
Nigel Pearson's side have won three of their last four games in all competitions and claimed a spirited 2-2 draw at Liverpool on New Year's Day as part of a four-match unbeaten streak.
That run has seen bottom team Leicester move to within three points of safety, and Hughes knows Stoke will have to be at their best this weekend.
Stoke suffered the fifth Premier League defeat on their travels this season following a 3-0 loss at Arsenal last Sunday, with Hughes expecting a more spirited display from his players on the club's first top-flight visit to Leicester since 1985.
"They [Leicester] have found a bit of form, because at one point it looked as though they may well find themselves cut adrift," said Hughes.
"That hasn't happened and they will be enthused by that.
"We know that any team will fight from the first minute to the last, and the fact that we are playing away from home makes it even more difficult.
"They will think that this is a game they can win, but we feel the same way too."
Buoyed by their recent form, Leicester will hope to record back-to-back home league wins after beating Aston Villa 1-0 last weekend.
Pearson has been delighted with the effort shown by his side and has backed them to continue their charge towards safety with a second victory over Stoke this season – having triumphed 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium in September.
"We feel we've been performing well for quite a while," he said. "The players are focused but we don't have a great deal of flexibility with the margin of error.
"We know our form has to be good but we take encouragement from the fact a lot of our performances have been positive.
"This game is another good example of the type of fixture you've got to be able to manage.
"They have some really good players and they've always had a strong physical presence but that doesn't give the full picture, they have the capability to play some really good football."
And the Leicester boss hopes to receive a further boost ahead of kick-off with the impending completion of Andrej Kramaric's transfer from Rijeka. The Croatia striker is waiting to gain a work permit in time to make his debut.
Pearson has injury concerns over Dean Hammond (calf) and Esteban Cambiasso (thigh), but Danny Drinkwater will return after missing the last two matches with a groin problem.
Erik Pieters is a doubt for the visitors with a niggling groin injury, Steven N'Zonzi is expected to be fit and Victor Moses could start after being rested against Arsenal.