Stoke City vs. Leicester: FA Cup preview, potential lineups, and prediction

Stoke City vs. Leicester: FA Cup preview and prediction

Preview

Stoke City will square off against Leicester on Saturday at the Bet365 Stadium in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Stoke will be a clear underdog against the Foxes who are currently just a point off the top spot in the Premier League.

Stoke City continue to struggle to score and coming into Saturday will have just 1 goal (a Jordan Thompson goal scored directly off a corner) in their last 3 matches. On top of their scoring woes, Stoke’s best scoring option (other than injured Tyrese Campbell) Steven Fletcher was injured last week and will not play on Saturday. Also out for Stoke are Morgan Fox, Lee Gregory, Angus Gunn and Adam Davies. Stoke have recently confirmed signing of Rabbi Matondo and it has been confirmed that he will be in the squad for tomorrow and could possibly start. Michael O”Neill indicated that both James Chester and Nick Powell will also likely to be out.

While Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers will not be fielding a complete reserve squad on Saturday, it is confirmed that James Maddison and Jamie Vardy will both be rested. Leicester will also still also be without Ricardo Pereira who is training but not quite yet ready for a start. Cengiz Under is coming off an ankle injury but could be available for a start.

Last 5 (all competitions)

Stoke: W-L-D-D-L ( -2 goal differential, 2 clean sheets)
Leicester: L-W-D-D-W (+1 on goal differential, 1 clean sheet)

Potential Lineups

Stoke: 3-5-2

Bursik

Collins – Batth – Souttar

Smith – Allen – Mikel – Clucas – Tymon

Brown – Vokes

Without Morgan Fox in the lineup, Stoke are still forced to play with 3 at the back. I’m thinking Danny Batth makes an appearance for Stoke, he hasn’t played since Stokes 12/23 loss to Tottenham. Also predicting Josh Tymon gets a cup start for Stoke. Forward options at the moment for Stoke are thin even though Rabbi Matondo will be available. Midfield for Stoke is now crowded with both Mikel, Allen, and Clucas all returning and available.

Leicester: 4-2-3-1

Schmeichel

Justin – Morgan – Soyuncu – Thomas

Mendy – Choudhury

Under- Praet – Perez

Iheanacho

Prediction

This will be tough match for Stoke. Stoke are clearly struggling to create scoring chances and with Morgan Fox out and no replacement signed they don’t have ideal options in terms of formation. A Stoke win on Saturday would be a true upset. If Stoke were to pull this off, it would likely be from an early goal and then rigid defensive play for the rest of the match. Prediction: 2-1 Leicester.