The Tigers visit London Irish on Sunday knowing that victory over the ninth-placed Exiles would keep them firmly in title contention.
Leicester still have hopes of a home play-off tie on May 12, but they will need to keep winning and hope that Harlequins or Saracens suffer some uncharacteristic blips.
But Cockerill's team will head to the Madejski Stadium buoyed by winning the LV= Cup final against their fierce local rivals Northampton last weekend.
And they will arrive in Reading reinforced by returning England quartet Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and Geoff Parling, with two more international stars - Tom Croft and Martin Castrogiovanni - on replacement bench duty.
Elsewhere, fly-half Toby Flood starts, while centre Anthony Allen is back on match-day duty after recovering from a knee injury.
"We had a good win in the cup last weekend," rugby director Cockerill said.
"But now our focus is purely on the Premiership and the push for a place in the top four.
"The whole squad has been boosted by the run in the cup, and we have been in decent form, but the Premiership table is so tight that we cannot afford to lose any of that momentum."
Irish are a distant 11 points adrift of the play-off places, and they show six changes from the side beaten by struggling Wasps last time out.
England prop Alex Corbisiero packs down alongside Faan Rautenbach and David Paice in the front-row, while Tom Homer and Marland Yarde join Sailosi Tagicakibau in the back-three.
Elsewhere, Steve Shingler moves from fly-half to centre and Dan Bowden wears the number 10 shirt, with fit-again lock Bryn Evans and number eight Jamie Gibson also starting.
"The squad has used the time between fixtures to recuperate and refocus and are now raring to go," Irish head coach Toby Booth said.
"Leicester always presents a massive challenge, so we will need a huge work-rate and effort from the squad to ensure we are competitive."
Irish have won only one of their last eight games in all competitions stretching back to early January, although they had won three Premiership home matches on the bounce before Northampton recently ended that run.
Leicester, though, have already secured Heineken Cup qualification for next season courtesy of their LV= final victory, with an impressive Premiership record showing a solitary defeat since October.
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