FA Cup: Leicester City vs. Birmingham City Match Preview, Prediction, Team News, Line-ups
FA Cup: Leicester City vs. Birmingham City – Leicester City, who have reached a standstill in their pursuit of the Championship crown, will now turn their attention back to the FA Cup.
To advance thus far, the Foxes defeated Millwall five goals to one, while Tony Mowbray’s team needed a replay and late drama to defeat Hull City in the third round.
Italian sensation Cesare Casadei stole the show in the first half of Leicester’s FA Cup third-round match against Millwall at The Den, heading in from a Marc Albrighton ball and setting up Ricardo Pereira for a well-deserved second goal before being called back to parent club Chelsea.
The gap was reduced to one goal once more when Zian Flemming converted a skillfully executed corner routine, but only after Duncan Watmore had given Millwall a lifeline.
Tom Cannon then added a third goal for Leicester, seizing a fantastic long pass from Callum Doyle.
Despite Flemming’s late goal in the 86th minute, Leicester advanced to the FA Cup round four for the fifth consecutive year and won 16 games in the competition since the beginning of the 2017–18 campaign.
Only Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea have won more games in that span of time.
Leicester has subsequently picked up just one point from its past two Championship games, losing 1-0 to Coventry City and then blowing a 1-0 lead in a two-goal draw with promotion rivals Ipswich Town. Nevertheless, their thrashing of Millwall was not a sure thing.
Though there’s still a long way to go before the Championship title is decided, Enzo Maresca’s team leads the Tractor Boys by an overwhelming seven points after 28 games, and Tuesday’s draw extended their winning streak at King Power Stadium to a respectable six games.
Similarly, Birmingham City only needed a single goal to advance in the FA Cup against their Championship rivals, but it took two strikes to defeat Hull City in the third round for both the Blues and Koji Miyoshi.
Ten days after a tense 1-1 draw at Hull, the Tigers silenced a sparsely populated St Andrew’s with a goal in the 16th minute from Jason Lokilo.
However, Jay Stansfield gave Mowbray’s team a chance to tie the score before Miyoshi’s injury-time winner, which he unintentionally set himself up for with an early miskick.
Birmingham marched to their first victory over Mowbray, who had to wait just four more days for his second stint at the Blues’ helm after orchestrating a 2-1 Championship triumph over Stoke City with goals from Stansfield and Juninho Bacuna’s magnificent free kick that sent the Tigers home with their tails between their legs.
With an eight-point advantage over the relegation zone and a four-game winning streak across all competitions, Birmingham has adapted to life under the experienced Mowbray and is now making a run for the FA Cup fifth round for just the second time in twelve years.
In the 2019–20 season, Birmingham was unintentionally denied a spot in the quarterfinals by Leicester on that occasion.
The Championship leaders defeated the Foxes 3-2 at St Andrew’s in their first encounter since the Foxes’ 1-0 victory in December.
Leicester City FA Cup form:
Leicester City form (all competitions):
D W W W L D
Birmingham City FA Cup form:
Birmingham City form (all competitions):
D L D D W W
In addition to the recalled Casadei, Harry Souttar of Australia and Kelechi Iheanacho of Nigeria are still out of the Leicester team.
These players will shortly be competing in the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages, respectively.
Though it is still doubtful, Patson Daka’s Zambia have been eliminated from the latter competition.
As a result, the striker will soon return to King Power Stadium. Wilfred Ndidi (leg) and Abdul Fatawu (suspended) will also miss the match.
Maresca was not beyond switching things up to win against Millwall, and he ought to do it again.
The most likely place for Hamza Choudhury to start is on the bench following the midfielder’s drunk driving arrest.
Birmingham signed Queens Park Rangers midfielder Andre Dozzell on a short-term loan deal after overcoming Hull in their third-round replay; however, the 24-year-old is cup-tied and will not be able to participate on Saturday.
Though Alfie Chang (knee), George Hall (hamstring), and Lukas Jutkiewicz (calf) are still in the treatment room, there is hope that Marc Roberts (calf) and Ethan Laird (groyne) will be able to play in the trip to Leicester.
John Ruddy, 37, was back in goal for the rematch after giving up the starting position to Neil Etheridge for the first game against Hull. Gary Gardner should also be called up to the midfield at the King Power.
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Stolarczyk; Pereira, Doyle, Coady, Justin; Praet, Winks; Albrighton, Dewsbury-Hall, Akgun; Vardy
Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Drameh, Bielik, Sanderson, Buchanan; Gardner, James; Miyoshi, Bacuna, Dembele; Stansfield
Our Prediction for this match 2-1 or 2-0 won by Leicester City