Leicester head to Eastlands ready to battle the odds once again when they aim to knock big-spending Manchester City out of the FA Cup on Tuesday evening.
Roberto Mancini’s side currently sit second in the Premier League table following their entertaining 4-3 victory over Wolves on Saturday, and will be keen to avoid upset on home territory as they look to begin a strong cup run.
As for Leicester, a deserved 2-2 draw at the Walkers Stadium was enough to take the clash to a replay, and head to Manchester on the back of a disappointing draw at Preston.
Yakubu, who is not available for the Eastlands tie, looked to have sealed all three points for Leicester before Iain Hume hit a late equaliser to leave boss Sven-Goran Eriksson cursing his luck.
Opponents Manchester City are expected to reach into the depths of their luxurious squad for the tie, with Roberto Mancini set to ring the changes against Championship City.
Mancini will be hoping for a much-improved performance from his side after an under-par showing at the Walkers, and will be particularly keen to eradicate the set-piece errors which proved so costly first time around.
For Eriksson it is another opportunity to get one over on his former protegé. The Foxes frustrated their visitors in the first encounter, and were good value for at least a draw on the day.
At stake is an away draw at League One Notts County, a tie which would certainly appeal to both sides as they look to embark on a lengthy cup run.
Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong (On Carlos Tevez): ‘He is a special kind of player – you don’t see that very often these days, a guy who can decide a game by popping up from nothing, even when you don’t start the game that well,’ he told the club’s official website.
‘You had that with Ronaldo at United, with the same quality, and we have it with Carlos.
‘But he can’t do it alone. He is a tremendous player but he knows that he needs his colleagues on the pitch. That makes us dangerous to every opponent – if it isn’t Carlos it will be someone else who steps up, maybe [Edin] Dzeko or David [Silva].’
Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson: ‘I am still optimistic we have a chance to be promoted, although we should win games like this to do that.
‘I know we are getting closer to what we want. It will happen very soon, we will keep improving and I believe we can still achieve our aims.’
Manchester City Team News:
Roberto Mancini is set to make several changes to the side which overcame Wolves on Saturday.
Edin Dzeko is ineligible as he was not listed in the squad for the first match between the two sides.
Foxes target Shay Given is ready to be handed a rare start, while Jerome Boateng, Joleon Lescott, Patrick Vieira, James Milner, David Silva and Jo all look likely starters at Eastlands.
Player to watch: Carlos Tevez
Just frightening. The Argentine has tormented Premier League backlines all season long, and notched his 14th and 15th goals of the campaign at the weekend.
One of the few City players who showed their qualities in the Walkers clash, Tevez has the potential to devastate on home turf. It could be messy.
Leicester Team News:
Yakubu is also unavailable after not joining in time for the two sides’ first meeting. Ben Mee is ineligible to face his parent club.
Darius Vassell is battling to be fit after missing out on Saturday, but don’t be surprised to see Eriksson plump for the aerial advantage of Steve Howard in the Foxes attack.
Player to watch: Andy King
Punished a woeful goalkeeping error from Joe Hart in the first tie, and will be keen to add another to his impressive season tally at Eastlands.
On his day has the ability to cause significant problems for most backlines, and his talents may soon find him lining up in the Premier League himself.
Match Facts & Stats
– Manchester are one competitive victory away from a 50th win against the Foxes.
– They are also unbeaten in four league and cup matches against Leicester.
– But the Foxes have not yet lost at Eastlands in their two visits. Their only league match produced a thumping 3-0 win.
– But Mancini’s side have not lost an FA Cup fixture against the Foxes since 1968.
Head says a crushing win for the hosts, but heart currently displays Darius Vassell sliding in at the back post to steal a stoppage time victory. Come on heart.
Saturday 22nd January