MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 12:35:37| >> :120:4233:4233:
Mar 4, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at King Power Stadium
Attendance: 27,181
LeicesterLeicester City
BirminghamBirmingham City
Pereira (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Leicester City vs. Birmingham City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie between Leicester City and Birmingham City, including team news and prediction.

Out-of-form Leicester City will be looking to get their season back on track when they welcome Birmingham City to the King Power Stadium for Wednesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie.

The Foxes are winless in five matches ahead of the midweek visit of Midlands rivals Birmingham, who have drawn four in a row to make it 13 without defeat in all competitions.

Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured in December 2019© Reuters

Since beating Brentford 1-0 in the last round through Kelechi Iheanacho's early goal, Leicester have exited the EFL Cup with defeat to Aston Villa and have picked up two points from the last 12 on offer in the Premier League.

Failing to overcome a struggling Villa side for a rare day out at Wembley was a big blow for City, though they do at least have the FA Cup to fall back on, a competition they have never previously won.

Indeed, Leicester's four final appearances without lifting the cup is the most of any team and is something Brendan Rodgers will be keen to put an end to.

Despite their loss of league form, the Foxes remain five points better off than Chelsea in fourth and have a further three-point margin on sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Champions League football next season is the target for Rodgers's men, though the season will have a twinge of disappointment to it should they fall short in another cup competition.

Birmingham boss Pep Clotet on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Birmingham do not exactly boast all that much FA pedigree themselves in recent times, having failed to make it beyond this stage since 2010-11 when going on to lose 3-2 to Bolton Wanderers in the quarters.

Their league form has also been patchy to say the least, with five draws on the bounce - most recently netting late on to draw 2-2 with Queens Park Rangers - leaving them 15th in the Championship and now nine points off the playoffs.

If nothing else, though, Pep Clotet's side are incredibly tough to beat. Not since New Year's Day, when going down 3-2 at home to Wigan Athletic, have they tasted defeat in any competition.

History is not on the Blues' side, however, as they have failed to progress from all six of their previous FA Cup ties with Leicester, most recently being eliminated in round three 21 years ago.

Should they end that run on Wednesday they will be one game away from Wembley. With their playoff hopes fast fading, the FA Cup is now City's best hopes of keeping their season alive.

Leicester City's FA Cup form: WW
Leicester City's form (all competitions): WLDDLL

Birmingham City's FA Cup form: WDW
Birmingham City's form (all competitions): WWDDDD

Team News

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy holds his injured glutes on January 22, 2020© Reuters

Jamie Vardy missed Leicester's surprise 1-0 Premier League defeat to bottom side Norwich City on Friday with a calf injury.

The striker is unlikely to be risked here, meaning another chance for Iheanacho - who has scored 10 goals in 13 FA Cup appearances - to impress upfront.

One positive for Rodgers at Carrow Road was the injury return of Wilfred Ndidi, who is now in line for his first start since the end of January.

Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton and Ryan Bennett are among the fringe players pushing for inclusion.

As for Birmingham, they will be without injured duo Jacques Maghoma and Josh McEachran for the 43-mile trip to the King Power Stadium.

Scott Hogan has scored six goals in seven league appearances since joining on loan from West Ham United in January and should retain his place for this game.

Jeremy Bela has scored in two of this three FA Cup appearances for Birmingham this season, including a 90th minute winner against Blackburn Rovers and a 120th minute equaliser against Coventry City in rounds three and four respectively.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Ward; Justin, Morgan, Bennett, Fuchs; Choudhury, Ndidi; Gray, Perez, Albrighton; Iheanacho

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Camp; Colin, Dean, Roberts, Pedersen; Crowley, Gardner, Sunjic, Bellingham; Hogan, Jutkiewicz

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Leicester City 2-1 Birmingham City

Leicester have not lost a home FA Cup match against a side from a lower division since a 2-1 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers in March 2001, winning 10 and drawing one of their 11 such games since. Despite being on a poor run of form, we are backing them to get the job done on Wednesday.

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured in December 2019
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