Leicester City captain Wes Morgan is determined for there to be no drop in standards when the Premier League’s surprise package start the new year against AFC Bournemouth.
The incredible form of Claudio Ranieri’s men has been the story of the season so far and, despite taking just one point from their last two games, Leicester remain level on points with leaders Arsenal.
That a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool and a 0-0 draw with Manchester City are seen as something of disappointment is a sign of how far Leicester have come this term.
And before Saturday’s visit of a Bournemouth side more focused on the battle against relegation, Leicester skipper Morgan said: “We have something to be proud of.
“We have done extremely well and set a standard for ourselves now that we want to keep and maintain.
“We have showed how good we can be as a team. We have played everyone now and we have showed we are more than capable of playing up there with the best of them.
“We are halfway now and we want to push on in the second half of the season.
“But we are taking one game at a time, we are only halfway through there are still a lot of games to play and points to be gotten, we are not getting carried away ourselves.
“We are in a position which I am sure not a lot of our players are used to. I just want to stay positive and take each game at a time and keep getting positive results.”
Matty James is unavailable with a knee injury while Leicester will also be without Jeffrey Schlupp because of a hamstring problem.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will have to do without the services of Christian Atsu (shin) and Tommy Elphick (ankle), as well as long-term absentees Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel and Callum Wilson (all knee).
Mings and Gradel both suffered their cruciate ligament injuries in the reverse fixture at the Vitality Stadium back in August, when a Jamie Vardy penalty four minutes from time secured a 1-1 draw for Leicester.
Howe’s side are three points clear of the relegation zone, with a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Monday preventing them from pulling further away from trouble after a run of six Premier League games without a loss.
Speaking after the reverse at the Emirates Stadium, midfielder Andrew Surman told Bournemouth’s official website: “We’ve set ourselves high standards.
“So has the manager and we’ve been on a good run recently, so we really felt we could have got something.
“As I said, this month has been great for us and we’ve set ourselves really high standards, so we’ll still be full of confidence heading into the Leicester game.”
Key Opta Stats:
– Leicester are unbeaten in the last five games against Bournemouth (W4 D1).
– Bournemouth have kept just one clean sheet in their 10 Premier League away games so far in 2015-16 – in a 1-0 win at Chelsea.
– Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez (13 goals, seven assists) has been involved in more goals than any other Premier League player in 2015-16.
– Leicester have won a league-high seven penalties in the Premier League so far in 2015-16.