- Leicester City welcome Manchester City to Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday (5:30pm kick-off)
- Ayoze Pérez previews the third versus first clash, speaking to LCFC TV about the challenge of facing the Citizens
- The Spanish forward points to the reverse fixture as a demonstration of the Foxes' own quality
- Leicester won 5-2 at Etihad Stadium with Jamie Vardy's hat-trick securing three points in Manchester
Leicester are straight back into Premier League action for the visit of the league leaders, who, after 30 games, hold a 14-point gap to their closest challengers, Manchester United, with the Foxes a further point behind, sitting third in the standings.
Given the relentless nature of the 2020/21 season, there has been little time for rest in between fixtures, and although several Leicester stars were in action across the globe over the past week, the latest international break did give Pérez and some of his team-mates a chance to return refreshed ahead of the final run-in.
"From people that didn’t get involved with their national team, it was a very good little breather, but the other guys, they’ve been playing so many games," the 27-year-old told LCFC TV in his pre-match interview earlier this week.
"They had three games with their national team. It’s quite tough for them, but it’s not long until the end of the season and now is the time to push and give it all to achieve what we want.
A Massive Game, Says Pérez
Leicester City forward Ayoze Pérez spoke to LCFC TV ahead of Saturday's Premier League encounter with Manchester City.
"There is a lot of ambition, a lot of desire, to play the games coming up. We know the importance of this last two months, but we’re definitely ready for it. We want to achieve big things and we are ready to fight for them.
"We have got the respect from every team now, they see us a big team. We’ve performed well enough to get that credit, but it’s a game against a big team.
"They’re the leaders right now and, obviously, it’s going to be a tough test for us, but we’ve done it before. We’ve proved we can beat the big teams, so we’re definitely ready for it."
Brendan Rodgers' side have performed at a consistently high level throughout the season, not least in the last top flight fixture to be played on Filbert Way. Pérez himself was on the scoresheet in the 5-0 triumph over Sheffield United - his second goal against the Blades this season - helping to record back-to-back league victories.
The Spaniard admitted it was nice to hit the ground running after a month-long spell on the sidelines due to his knee injury.
He explained: "When you’re injured, every day you’re not able to be out there with your team-mates in training sessions and game days, it’s very hard.
Ayoze Pérez vs. Sheffield United
Ayoze Pérez's impress strike doubled City's lead against Sheffield United at King Power Stadium.
"You try to work as hard as you can for the day you are able to be back and to be at your best. That’s the feeling you get when you’re out injured.
"Thankfully, wasn’t a very bad injury, but it’s still an injury. I came back really well, I’m feeling very good. I’m still not 100 per cent, but the knee is feeling much better now.
"It’s good, it’s getting better. Fitness-wise, I’m also feeling better, so overall it’s very good to be able to back out there with my team-mates, helping them win games and hopefully we can keep out form."
Although aware of the opposition's quality in every area of the pitch, Pérez revealed that the hosts will be focusing on their own game as they aim for a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions.
He believes they can also take confidence from the way they performed in the reverse fixture at Etihad Stadium in September when the visiting Foxes hit five during a scintillating display.
"It was an unbelievable game," the former Newcastle United attacker added. "It was a very good performance. I was on the bench and didn’t play in that game, but from outside, I could see how well we played.
We need to be ready. It’s going to be a big game for us. It’s important, if we want to be up there, and we’re working on the game and making sure we are ready for it.Ayoze Pérez LCFC TV
"The way we stuck to our plan and the way we played to our strengths, it was a very good performance overall and we know we can hurt them.
"But we also know how good Man City are. The amount of players they’ve got, they play very good football, but I think the analysis has to be more about us and what we can do.
"We’re looking at our strengths, what we can use to frustrate them. We beat them over there. Now it’s another, different game. It’s a totally different story.
"We need to be ready. It’s going to be a big game for us. It’s important, if we want to be up there, and we’re working on the game and making sure we are ready for it.
"We need to stick to our game plan, it’s as simple as that. We know we can score against them and it’s going to be a very good game, for sure, and hopefully we can get something out of it."
All times BST.
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