Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes the race for the title could go down to the wire.
The Foxes are third in the Premier League, a point behind pacesetters Tottenham and Liverpool, ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Everton.
Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brighton strengthened their position in the top four, although Rodgers has remained cautious about his side’s title ambitions.
The Foxes were second after 12 games last season – eight points behind eventual champions Liverpool – but Rodgers does not expect a team to run away with the league this time.
He said: “It’ll be tight. It’s the nature of the league this season, with all the games and the competitiveness of the games – and the quality of the teams.
“It’ll be tighter than what it has been for the last couple of seasons. There is still such a long way to go but all the teams playing European football have a period until February where they don’t play so many games and will be a bit fresher.
“It has been an interesting start and nice to be in and around it.
“It has been great to see Southampton and ourselves up there, West Ham and the other teams. It’s the job of every team to challenge and be up there as long as you can.”
Jonny Evans is banned after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season in the win over Brighton.
Caglar Soyuncu and Ricardo Pereira (both groin) are out although Timothy Castagne has a chance of being fit after being sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury.
If he misses the visit of the Toffees, Castagne is expected to be available for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham with the Foxes in the middle of a punishing schedule of eight games this month.
Rodgers added: “We want to go into each game with a positive outlook. I trust my players, we will pick an aggressive team to win the game.
“It has been great for us, we are used to playing a lot of games and it’s something we will look to continue to manage.
“We’ve done that since the start of the season and it feels no different now. The games over Christmas will test everyone, other than that we will get ready for every game.”
The stats: Why this is the most open Premier League ever
The gap between first and 10th in the Premier League has never been closer after 12 games. Picking a champion is tougher than ever, writes Sky Sports’ Peter Smith…
Unpredictable. That seems just about the best word to describe the results in the top flight in 2020/21. And our study into the stats after 12 games suggests this is indeed the most open Premier League season in history.
This weekend has once again reminded us that no result is a certainty in the Premier League right now.
On Saturday, in-form Chelsea missed the chance to go top of the table by losing at Everton, who had just one win in their previous seven.
The next day, Tottenham made what looked to be a costly slip-up at Crystal Palace, only to see Liverpool fail to capitalise after a first-half shocker at Fulham.
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Arsenal’s failings in front of goal seem to be just about the only thing we can rely on in the Premier League at the moment.
Add in the Manchester derby stalemate and this was the first round of weekend games in 12 years that City, United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool all failed to win.
These unlikely outcomes have been a running theme of the campaign – from the jaw-dropping shocks, such as Liverpool’s thrashing at the hands of Aston Villa, to the late winners and equalisers from the underdogs.
The result is an extremely congested Premier League table. Almost a third of the way into the season, just eight points separate the top 13 sides.
In fact, it’s the most congested top half after 12 games in Premier League history.
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