Leicester City will be looking to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the second time in three seasons when they face Birmingham City this week.
The Foxes are facing lower league opposition for the third round in a row having seen off Wigan Athletic and Brentford and were previously backed by Brendan Rodgers’ extraordinary domestic cup run.
However, that run of progressing from 32 cup ties ended in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat against Aston Villa, and Leicester have not won since – a run of five games.
Their opponents, Birmingham, are in the fifth round for the first time since 2011/12 when they were knocked out by Premier League opposition Chelsea after a replay. They are also on a winless run, currently standing at four games, all of which have been draws.
Who will finally get back to winning ways? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and live stream information.
When is Leicester vs Birmingham and where can I watch live?
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: King Power Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 04 March 2020
Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A.
Live stream options: UK residents will be able to view Leicester vs Birmingham on Facebook Watch.
Bet365* are also streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Leicester vs Birmingham live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- ‘Join now’ and enter details.
- Log in and fund the new account.
- Pick the desired event from among the ‘live now’ or ‘schedule’ sections in Bet365’s ‘live streaming’ category.
*Geo restrictions apply, 18+ only, must have a funded account, BeGambleAware.
Last five meetings: Leicester vs Birmingham
28 January 2014: Birmingham 1-2 Leicester (Championship)
24 August 2013: Leicester 3-2 Birmingham (Championship)
12 April 2013: Leicester 2-2 Birmingham (Championship)
20 October 2012: Birmingham 1-1 Leicester (Championship)
13 March 2012: Leicester 3-1 Birmingham (Championship)
Aggregate Score: Leicester (WWDDW) 11-7 Birmingham (LLDDL)
Ones to watch
Leicester: Kelechi Iheanacho
With Jamie Vardy set to miss this game, the pressure will be on Kelechi Iheanacho to lead the line for Leicester.
The Nigerian has very much been the cup man for Leicester this season, scoring five goals in five games while managing just three in 11 in the Premier League.
Iheanacho netted the only goal in Leicester’s fourth-round win over Brentford but struggled to replace Vardy against Norwich. Back in his comfort zone, now will be the time for Iheanacho to help Leicester return to winning ways.
Key stat: Kelechi Iheanacho has scored in every cup game he’s played in for Leicester this season.
Birmingham: Scott Hogan
Scott Hogan had a terrible first half of the season on loan at Stoke City, managing two goals in 15 games. But, moving to Birmingham in January, the 27-year-old has re-found his form and is currently on fire.
Making his debut at the start of February, Hogan has scored six goals in seven games, all coming in the league.
He was ineligible for the fourth-round replay against Coventry having not been registered for the initial tie so will be making his FA Cup bow. What better way to enter the competition than by knocking out a Premier League side, if he can inspire Birmingham to do it.
Key stat: Scott Hogan has only failed to score in two of his seven appearances for Birmingham City.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) March 4, 2020
Leicester will once again be without Jamie Vardy for the visit of Birmingham as he missed the defeat to Norwich on Friday with a calf injury.
However, Wilfred Ndidi may be handed a start after his own return from injury although Daniel Amartey remains a long-term absentee. In previous rounds Rodgers has rotated his side and there could be a few changes from the team that lost to Norwich.
Confirmed XI: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi; Albrighton, Praet, Maddison, Gray; Iheanacho.
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TEAM: Here's our starting XI for tonight's game.
◾️ Kieft starts
◾️ Mrabti comes in
◾️ Burke makes bench
🔞 Brought to you by @BoyleSports.
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) March 4, 2020
Birmingham are still without duo Jacques Maghoma and Josh McEachran but will be closer to full strength having rotated slightly at the weekend.
Jake Clarke-Salter may return in defence, while Jude Bellingham is likely to start on the right side of midfield.
Confirmed XI: Camp; Colin, Dean, Clarke-Salter, Pedersen; Mrabti, Kieftenbeld, Sunjic, Harding; Jutkiewicz, Hogan.
Leicester were poor in their defeat to Norwich on Friday and will be looking for an instant bounce-back to ensure their good season doesn’t derail.
Although Birmingham are in a similarly poor patch of form late, they can frustrate their Premier League hosts – although it may be in vain. Leicester’s previous FA Cup ties against lower league opposition this season have been close, and this one should be the same.