Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers believes the race for the Premier League title could go down to the wire this season.
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 cemented 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’s been for the last couple of seasons. There is still such 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’s been an interesting start and nice to be in and around it.
“It’s 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’s 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.”