Ben Gibson believes that Leicester City will be just as much of a difficult battle even without the suspended Jamie Vardy when the two sides meet again on Monday (12.20pm).

Vardy played when Boro travelled to the King Power back in November but it was Islam Slimani who denied Aitor Karanka's men the three points, converting a penalty in the last minute to tie the game at 2-2.

"I think he's (Vardy) a very good player and will be a loss to Leicester but when we played them this season I thought we handled him quite well," said Gibson. 

"They've got three other very, very good strikers in Ulloa, Okazaki and Slimani who I think they paid a lot of money for. So they've got strength in depth and whoever plays it's going to be a very tough battle. 

"You know what Leicester are about, they're going to make it difficult for you and get in your face to make you work hard and be on the back foot. But we stood up to it well at the King Power and should've taken three points. 

"The penalty cost us in the last minute but we'll make it count this time by hopefully getting three points and a clean sheet."

Last season was historic for Leicester, with Claudio Ranieri's Foxes lifting the Premier League title against all odds, but Gibson says Boro have very different aspirations this year.

"What they achieved was remarkable, it's not something that has happened often or is likely to happen again," said the defender.

"It does give teams hope that they can achieve something special, whatever that may be. But for us in our first year it's about consolidating our position. 

"We're not looking to do anything different. We worked this hard to get to the Premier League so now we have to stay here.

"I think this season was always going to be difficult for them. The expectation after last year, people automatically forget that despite what they achieved, it's still Leicester City. 

"They weren't going to roll over like a Man United and win the league year after year. They've also got the extra games of the Champions League and that will have taken a lot out of them. 

"Leicester have had a tough start but who's to say that the second half won't be more promising for them? We can't really focus on them, though, we have to make sure it's about us by making it another very difficult day for them."