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Fleetwood – Leicester

Jamie Vardy Fleetwood Leicester FA Cup

Fleetwood Town will play arguably their biggest matches ever in the FA Cup third round against Leicester on Saturday afternoon, but the occasion might be shadowed a bit by the potential absence of ex Fleetwood star Jamie Vardy.

League One outfit Fleetwood Town has never reached the FA Cup fourth round and they have never faced Premier League opposition before, so they will have the chance to make history today. However, their recent form and the strong opponent do not give much reason for optimism. Fleetwood is currently 12th in League One but their form is worse than their position. The hosts lost 4 of their last 6 matches there, and have just two wins in the previous 11 League One games.

Leicester is on the back of a solid 3-0 win against Huddersfield, a very important victory after the Foxes failed to win their previous 5 games in all competitions. Nevertheless, Leicester had a nightmare schedule in the second part of December, so you can`t really fault them for that stretch of poor results. They bounced back well on Monday against Huddersfield, playing some great football in the second half of that game.

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Team news & lineups:

Grant and Madden are out for Fleetwood Town, while McAleny is questionable. As for Leicester, they will be without Simpson, Morgan and Huth, while Vardy is a doubt. He will try to play in this unique occasion to take on his former club, for which he scored 31 goals in 36 matches back in 2011-2012 before joining Leicester.

Expect the Foxes to field a mixed lineup, but a strong one nonetheless, as they traveled here with the best available squad.

Fleetwood Town: Neal – Coyle, Eastham, Bolger, Bell – Sowerby, Dempsey, Glendon – Hiwula-Mayifuila, Hunter, Cole

Leicester City: Hamer – Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs – Mahrez, King, Silva, Gray – Iheanacho, Slimani (Vardy)

Leicester is on a safe and secure 8th place in the Premier League, so they can really focus on the FA Cup, the only other competition they are still involved in. The Foxes will try to make a real push in this competition and their ambitions are confirmed by the strong squad that traveled for this clash, with no players being given the day off for this tie.

The fact that Leicester doesn`t have a game schedule until next Saturday will help with their level of concentration and intensity.

Considering all the above, it`s fair to expect Leicester to be up for this match, so Fleetwood Town will need something special to frustrate them. Unfortunately for the hosts, their form is just not that good right now. They had a good start to the season, but their level of play in League One slowly degraded in the last couple of months.

FA Cup upsets usually require at least one or two of the following circumstances to take place: an in form underdog, an unmotivated favorite, an out of form favorite, or a favorite fielding a B string lineup. Neither of these boxes are checked here.

Fleetwood is also not the kind of team who can park the bus to frustrate a superior side for a 0-0 draw. They have the 5th worst defense out of 24 League One sides, allowing 1.54 goals per game in average, so in all likelihood they will concede some goals here. Obviously, it`s hard to expect them to be able to outscore Leicester.

I don`t see reasons to expect an upset, so my tip will be Leicester City to win. Odds on this bet are going down. Prediction: Fleetwood Town – Leicester City 1-3.

Pick: Leicester City
Odds: 1.55 @ Betfair Sportsbook
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 4.40
Event date: 6 January

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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