Leicester City welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night, looking to book their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the third time in four years.
The Foxes haven’t progressed beyond that stage since 1982, when Gary Lineker led them there from the old second division, and will face a stern test to get there from a side that’s really found their stride recently.
Brighton have lost just one of their last nine games in all competitions (1-0 at Manchester City), and are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games – conceding just once.
It’s a far cry from the side that picked up just two victories from their opening 18 league games, and barely limped past League Two side Newport County in the third round.
Leicester v Brighton Match Predictions
Graham Potter’s side have been unlucky for the most part though. His side sit 15th in the Premier League this season, despite accumulating the 7th most expected points.
Their improved form has been built on a stubborn defence. The Seagulls more goals against Wolves (3) in the first game of 2021 than they have in the six league games that followed – keeping clean sheets against Liverpool, Tottenham and Leeds.
The issue for the Seagulls has been a lack of goal scoring talent, with Neal Maupay leading them in goals scored with seven but also leading them in terms of big chances missed with eight.
It was an issue they didn’t really address in the January transfer window – despite 19-year old Colombian international Moises Caicedo joining from Independiente del Valle.
Struggles in attack isn’t something their hosts can relate to either, with Leicester racking up the 4th most goals in the league.
They were able to welcome Jamie Vardy back against Wolves at the weekend, though it wasn’t the instant gratification they would have hoped for, with that game meandering to a drab 0-0 draw.
That 29-minute cameo was his first action in almost three weeks following groin surgery, and I think this game will come too soon to risk him (at least from the start).
The FA Cup usually means managers ring the changes anyway, and it could mean an opportunity for Turkish international Cengiz Ünder.
The Roma loanee has struggled to make his mark in this Leicester side, seeing his appearances restricted to cameos off the bench and cup competitions.
When he does play though, he is not afraid to shoot-on-site. The midfielder averages a shot every 24 minutes in all competitions this season, so (if he starts) I like the look Cengiz Under 3+ Total Shots at evens with Coral.
His 4.14 shots per 90 in the Europa League – where he made 5 starts – led all Leicester players and I would expect similar if he was to get the nod against Brighton.