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Preview: Leicester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's FA Cup clash between Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion will both be aiming to advance to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup when they lock horns at the King Power Stadium for Wednesday evening's fifth-round clash.

The hosts played out a goalless stalemate with Wolverhampton Wanderers in their most recent fixture, while Brighton also took a point from their battle with Burnley.


Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers reacts on January 24, 2021© Reuters

Not even the highly-anticipated return of Jamie Vardy could help propel Leicester to victory at Molineux on Sunday, as Brendan Rodgers's men fell further behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race with a 0-0 draw in the West Midlands.

With only a solitary win to boast from their last four Premier League matches, the third-placed Foxes are now seven points off the pace having played a game more than Man City, and their recent underwhelming form could end up proving costly in the battle for glory.

The King Power faithful can be confident of a turnaround in fortunes now that Vardy is back and ready for action again, but his absence has been well and truly felt by Rodgers's side, who temporarily turn their attention to another realistic shot at a piece of silverware this season.

Two trips to Championship sides in Stoke City and Brentford saw Leicester score seven goals and concede just one in a pair of routine victories, and they remain on course to better last season's finish in the FA Cup, where Chelsea dumped them out in the quarter-finals.

Still yet to taste success in England's most prestigious competition, the current crop at Leicester will certainly feel capable of etching their names into the club's history books this season, but Brighton's recent form has them daring to dream as well.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter pictured on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Largely down to an inspired performance from Robert Sanchez in the Brighton goal, this week's visitors managed to claim a share of the spoils from their clash with Burnley at Turf Moor.

Lewis Dunk's header was cancelled out by a rare goal from Johann Berg Gudmundsson on the day, with Brighton unable to follow up their historic wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool with a third triumph on the bounce, but their recent results still make for excellent reading.

Now unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches - winning three and drawing two, with four clean sheets to boot - Brighton's survival bid is gathering pace, and their results are starting to reflect the nature of their performances as they sit 10 points clear of the drop zone in 15th.

Graham Potter's side are synonymous with low-scoring affairs and they have established a similar pattern in the early stages of the FA Cup - scraping past Newport County on penalties before beating Blackpool 2-1 - and the Seagulls will now aspire to make the quarter-finals for the third time in four seasons.

The last time that Brighton overcame Leicester was back in the 2013-14 Championship campaign, and the Foxes eased to a 3-0 victory when the two sides met in the Premier League back in December.

Leicester City FA Cup form: WW
Leicester City form (all competitions): WWDLWD

Brighton & Hove Albion FA Cup form: WW
Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions): WWDWWD


Team News

Leicester City's James Justin celebrates scoring against Fulham in the Premier League on February 3, 2021© Reuters

Vardy was given a 30-minute run-out against Wolves at the weekend, but with Liverpool lying in wait for the Foxes on February 13, it would be a surprise to see the 34-year-old risked in this game.

Rodgers is hopeful of having Wilfred Ndidi back in the fold for this game, but Timothy Castagne, Dennis Praet and Wesley Fofana all remain out.

Multiple changes from the Wolves stalemate could start with Danny Ward replacing Kasper Schmeichel in goal, while Nampalys Mendy, Marc Albrighton and Luke Thomas will all be hopeful of featuring from the first whistle.

Brighton defender Adam Webster was taken off with an ankle injury against Burnley, and Potter has conceded that he will not recover in time for this one.

Davy Propper and Alireza Jahanbakhsh are thought to have slim chances of coming back for this one too, but the likes of Solly March, Tariq Lamptey and Jason Steele are longer-term absentees.

Steele's absence should see Christian Walton handed an opportunity in between the sticks, while Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck and Steven Alzate - the latter of whom was dropped for the Burnley trip after his winner at Anfield - may all earn starts too.

With Webster set to miss out and Dan Burn likely to move into Potter's back three, there could be a debut on the left-hand side for 19-year-old Michal Karbownik.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Ward; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas; Tielemans, Mendy; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Iheanacho

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Walton; White, Dunk, Burn; Veltman, Alzate, Bissouma, Karbownik; Lallana, Trossard; Welbeck


SM words green background

We say: Leicester City 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Leicester have not exactly demonstrated a prolific nature with Vardy out of the team, and a raft of changes could have Brighton believing that a shock could be on the cards. The Seagulls have already beaten Liverpool away in 2021 and have found their defensive resolve, but we still think the Foxes will do enough to get over the line and keep their chances of a first ever FA Cup triumph alive.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy pictured on November 8, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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