Sven-Goran Eriksson aims to get one over on his old friend Roberto Mancini when free-spending Manchester City visit the Walkers Stadium in the FA Cup on Sunday.
The two became good friends over their years spent together at both Sampdoria and Lazio, with Mancini describing the clash as like taking on a ‘brother’.
Mancini himself spent five matches at Leicester in 2001, an short yet enjoyable spell the Italian claims encouraged him to manage in England one day.
The ties don’t stop there. Foxes chief Eriksson managed at Eastlands for just a season during the club’s ill-fated tenure under Thaksin Shinawatra.
Both will be keen to see their respective sides progress to the fourth round, with Manchester City heading into the match as clear favourites given their transfer market frolics over the last two seasons.
Mancini is expected to rest a few of his stars for the Walkers tie, but intends to face the Foxes with a strong lineup to ensure the job gets done.
But Leicester will prove no pushovers on home soil. The Foxes are yet to lose under Eriksson at the Walkers, a record they hope to maintain for the visit of City.
The two sides met most famously in the competition for the final of 1969, which the Manchester outfit emerged victorious from in a tight 1-0 affair.
Indeed, the FA Cup poses a competition which has eluded Leicester thus far. The Foxes have lost in the final more than any other side, the same of which cannot be said for four-times winners City.
Either way the tie looks to be one of the picks of the third round weekend, with an entertaining match expected in the East Midlands.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: “Sunday will be the first time one of my teams has played against one of Sven’s. It will be very interesting because he is like my brother.
“I have know him for around 15 years. He is a fantastic coach and a fantastic man.”
Leicester Team News:
Leicester have been given a boost with the availability of Tottenham loanee Kyle Naughton.
Meanwhile new signing Sol Bamba is expected to go straight into the first team after the departure of Michael Morrison to Sheffield Wednesday.
Player to watch: Richie Wellens
If there’s a battle to be had, Wellens is your man. The midfielder is a die-hard Manchester United fan, and will be keener than anybody to knock City out of the competition early doors.
On the flip side, Wellens boasts undoubted class in the Leicester side. Assists have been commonplace in the Championship this season, and the self-proclaimed Red could be the key to unlocking the City backline.
Patrick Vieira is quaking in his boots. Probably.
Manchester City Team News:
Edin Dzeko looks set to miss out after his transfer from Wolfsburg was not completed in time.
Striker Mario Balotelli is battling to be fit for the clash, with Brazilian striker Jo set to start up front once again.
Adam Johnson and Patrick Vieira are both almost definite starters.
Player to watch: Adam Johnson
It’s with great wonder as to what the England winger needs to do to force his way into Mancini’s first team these days. Substitute appearances generally produce moments of brilliance, which made Jo’s inclusion against Arsenal all the more baffling.
Either way, Johnson should start this one. We all know his dangers; quick, skilful, with a sweet left foot to match. Kyle Naughton will have his work cut out.
Match Facts & Stats
– Leicester have met Manchester City five times in the third round of the competition, winning none of them.
– The two sides have met nine times in the cup, with the Foxes winning just two of them.
– The last meeting between the two sides in all competitions saw a 1-1 draw at the Walkers Stadium, featuring a famous Paul Dickov missed penalty.
– Carlos Tevez has 12 goals in 19 Premier League matches this season. Gulp.
– Manchester City are actually quite good.
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Shall we go adventurous? Or will these big-spenders show their worth? Heart says battling draw, head says 3-0 Mancini. Either way, I can’t wait.
Saturday 15th January