Football League World will be live at the King Power Stadium tonight, as Leicester City prepare to take on Birmingham City in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Pep Clotet’s side have defeated Blackburn Rovers and Coventry City to reach the fifth round of this historic competition, but will have to overcome top-flight opposition in order to progress into the quarter-finals.
It will be a tall order for the Blues to reach the last-eight, with Leicester sitting third in the Premier League and battling it out for a place in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League.
The Foxes have enjoyed a hugely impressive campaign under Brendan Rodgers, and even though their main goal will be a top-four finish in the Premier League, they will still be gunning to win silverware this term.
Rodgers is bound to make changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Norwich City on Friday night, but they still have plenty of quality players in their ranks who can cause Birmingham real problems.
The likes of Danny Ward, James Justin, Christian Fuchs, Marc Albrighton could all be reintroduced to the side, whilst there could also be a long-awaited start for Wilfred Ndidi in midfield.
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There isn’t likely to be any Jamie Vardy for Leicester, though. A calf injury ruled the Premier League’s joint-leading goalscorer out of the clash at Carrow Road, and it’s unlikely he’ll be risked here.
James Maddison – Leicester’s second-leading goalscorer – is also unlikely to be risked, but Kelechi Iheanacho will be keen to retain his place in the side and add to his tally of eight goals tonight.
From a Birmingham perspective, Pep Clotet’s side really do have nothing to lose – the Blues look unlikely to form a late push for the Championship play-offs, and they also sit well clear of the relegation zone.
The Spaniard, then, is likely to name a full-strength team against Leicester, with Scott Hogan looking to score his seventh goal since arriving at St. Andrew’s on loan from Aston Villa in January.
One player who will be missing for Blues, though, is Jude Bellingham. The highly-rated teenager will be rested for the trip to the East Midlands, Clotet confirmed to Birmingham Live.
With Jeremie Bela also missing due to a hamstring injury, Jefferson Montero could play on the left-hand side for Blues.
Lukas Jutkiewicz – Birmingham’s top scorer with 13 goals this season – will be looking to get back amongst the goals, having gone without finding the net in their last couple of outings.
The last time these two sides met came on the 28th of January in 2014, where goals from Lloyd Dyer and Vardy were enough for Leicester to leave St. Andrew’s with a 2-1 win in the Championship.
Peter Lovenkrands scored a late consolation for Blues, but it proved to be too little, too late as Leicester went on to lift the league title. The Foxes have won four of their last six games against Birmingham, too.
The bookies class Leicester as clear favourites for this one, and it’s no surprise given the contrast in league positions and the players they are likely to have out on show.
But, with over 5,000 travelling Bluenoses cheering them on in the away end, Birmingham will be well up for this and will fancy their chances of pulling off a cup upset.