Belfast Telegraph

Jonny Evans not taking Leicester lightly despite indifferent league form

West Brom defender Jonny Evans can understand why Leicester are struggling to juggle the demands of the Premier League and Champions League but will not underestimate them in Sunday's trip to the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes were in European action on Wednesday night when they secured a goalless draw with FC Copenhagen to remain on course for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Last season's champions are in the bottom half of the Premier League, with their European adventure taking priority, but Evans knows West Brom must remain wary of their threat.

The former Manchester United man told Premier League Productions: "They can really, really hurt you if you're not careful.

"I think the European football is suiting them at the minute because teams aren't used to the way they play.

"Their counter-attacking football was what caused the other Premier League teams so many problems last year and they're still very capable of causing those problems.

"I think people underestimate how difficult it is to go away in Europe in the week and then play in the Premier League at the weekend.

"You've not had much rest and you've given everything you can in the European games. It's very difficult and I've experienced that myself.

"You have to be able to rotate your squad in a way that means you can perform in both competitions.

"Their Premier League form has suffered a little bit from that but I'm sure they're not panicking and they're enjoying the experience."

West Brom will be without Nacer Chadli and James McClean due to injury and suspension respectively, and that could mean a first start of the season for 17-year-old midfielder Jonathan Leko.

The youngster has made five substitute appearances so far and impressed off the bench in the 4-0 defeat at home to Manchester City last weekend.

Manager Tony Pulis said: "We've got players that have been waiting for their opportunity and we're going to have to make a few changes.

"Jon has got a good future but he's got to keep his feet on the ground and we've got to be careful with him, but that doesn't mean we don't have to play him when it's right to play him."

Evans has been impressed by Leko so far, adding: "He's got great ability and he can go past people.

"He's strong in one-versus-one situations. It's not very nice facing up to him because he's very clever, he watches the defender make his move and he's very good at going past people.

"For us as someone who's coming off the bench, who can make an impact, that's something that as team-mates and players we appreciate. Whether or not the manager will play him or not, I'm not sure."

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph