EDDIE Howe believes there are “subtle differences” between Leicester under caretaker-boss Craig Shakespeare and his predecessor Claudio Ranieri.
Shakespeare replaced Ranieri in February and has guided last season's Premier League champions away from relegation danger and to the Champions League quarter-finals.
His short-term contract is due to expire in the summer but, with eight wins from his 14 games in charge, Shakespeare could be handed the job permanently.
Asked how different the Foxes were under Shakespeare, Howe said: “Tactically and personnel-wise, I don’t think they are dramatically different.
“I think there are subtle differences but nothing to make you think you are playing a totally different team.
“Their strengths are the obvious ones they had in their title-winning season – the way they counter-attack, the pace in their team and their potential match-winners.
“Everyone knew how they played last season but stopping them was incredibly difficult so, if they are at the top of their game, it will be a very tough test for us.”
Commenting on the job Shakespeare had done, Howe added: “I think he has done an outstanding job.
“It seems such a short time ago but, when he took over, they were in trouble, as a lot of teams were, us included.
“They had a really tough run of fixtures towards the end of the season and I don’t think that should be underestimated either.
“They were also involved in the Champions League which, as everyone knows when you have that level of tournament among your league programme, it can be very difficult to manage the league programme.
“They have done that very well and managed to pick up some big wins. They look very comfortable in the position they are in and it is hard to believe they were in a difficult position.”