Stoke City vs Leicester City preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups, and ones to watch
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Dennis Praet of Leicester City during the Leicester City training session at Leicester City Training Ground, Seagrave on January 07th, 2021 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Leicester City kick-off their FA Cup campaign on Saturday, as they take the short trip up the A50, to face Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium in the Third Round.

After their solid 2-1 win away to Newcastle United in the Premier League last weekend, Foxes fans will be hoping to get off to a win in the FA Cup, a competition the club have never won.

The Foxes haven’t made it to the final since 1969 and also hold the unwanted record of making the most final appearances without ever winning the competition with four appearances. The club have always had high expectations for the FA Cup and will be expecting Brendan Rodgers and his team to get to the latter stages with every intention of winning it.

It won’t be an easy match though, as the Foxes face a Potters side who have had their fair share of knocking Premier League opposition out of cup competitions this season. The Potters were recently knocked out of the EFL Cup quarter-finals at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, but not before they knocked out Premier League sides Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa.

Team News:

With fixtures coming quick and fast for the Foxes Rodgers will most probably make a number of changes in this game in order to allow regular first-team players a chance to rest.

Rodgers has confirmed that with the heavy fixture congestion, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison are expected to miss out, in order to recover from minor injuries, they’ve both been carrying.

Ricardo Pereira is set to miss out as he recovers from a groin injury, he picked up against FC Zorya Luhansk in the UEFA Europa League at the beginning of December. Whilst he’s back out on the training field, this game has come just too soon for the Portuguese international.

Caglar Soyuncu made his first Leicester appearance in over a month against Newcastle, coming off the bench for the final 10 minutes, is fully fit and could start against Stoke.

Cengiz Under who has suffered from an ankle injury over the past couple of weeks could feature against the Potters if he is passed fit.

Michael O’Neil is facing a squad selection dilemma at the minute with a number of first-team players facing time on the side-lines. The Potters will be without, Tyreese Campbell (Meniscal Tear), Angus Gunn (Ankle Ligament), Adam Davies (Medial Knee Ligament), Lee Gregory (Groin), Morgan Fox (Hamstring), and Steven Fletcher (Knee), whilst Nick Powell and James Chester are doubts.

Ryan Shawcross and Joe Allen who have both recovered from long-term injuries could feature, whilst new signing, Welsh youngster, Rabbi Matondo who joined on loan from FC Schalke 04 on Thursday could make his first appearance for the club.

Leicester City XI: Ward; Justin, Soyuncu, Fofana, Thomas; Mendy, Praet, Choudhury; Perez, Iheanacho, Under

Stoke City XI: Bursik; Tymon, Souttar, Shawcross, Collins; Cousins, Mikel; Matondo, Clucas, Brown; Vokes

Last Meeting:

The last time these two met was nearly three years ago, back in February 2018 when the two faced off for the last time in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium, before Stokes relegation to the EFL Championship.

Stoke took the lead in the 43rd minute thanks to a lovely Xherdan Shaqiri from the edge of the box.

The away side looked comfortable and could have got a second when a poor kick from Kasper Schmeichel fell to Shaqiri who had an open net to aim at but couldn’t capitalise.

Leicester got back into it 70 minutes in, when a ball crossed in from Marc Albrighton looked to be caught comfortably by goalkeeper Jack Butland but the England international spilt the ball and put it into his own net.

From then on it was all constant pressure from the Foxes. Riyad Mahrez forced a brilliant save from Butland, whilst Harry Maguire and Matty James both hit the post.

The game finished 1-1 with the points being shared.

Ones to watch:

Cengiz Under

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If the Turkish international is passed fit for Saturday's game and features at any point, he could prove vital for Leicester if they want to progress into the next round.

Since joining on loan in the summer from Italian side Roma, the 23-year-old has yet to start a game in the Premier League, featuring mainly in the Europa League. A pacey and skilful winger, Under has always offered something different to the Foxes when featured. Bringing comparisons to Riyad Mahrez, for the way he cuts in on the right to take a shot on with his left foot.

Joe Bursik

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It’s not very often when looking for a player to watch in a match you chose a goalkeeper, but Joe Bursik is an exception.

The England U21 international spent the first few months of the season on loan at Doncaster Rovers in League One before being recalled back to Stoke due to the injuries to Davies and Gunn.

At the young age of 20, Bursik has got his whole career ahead of him and has already made some wonderful saves in his career. He made his England U21 debut during a 5-0 win against Albania back in November, and with the promise, he’s already showing. There is no reason why he can’t move onto the senior team in future.

With all the firepower Leicester possess. Bursik will need to be in top form if Stoke are going to cause an upset in this one.

Pre-Match thoughts:

Speaking before the game, Leicester defender James Justin was speaking to the club’s media about the challenge they face against Stoke. He spoke of what the cup means to the club and their ambition to go onto win the whole thing.

He said: "We’re on a decent run of form. Obviously, we could have picked up a few more points here and there, but overall, we’re satisfied with where we are at the moment. For the players and the staff, the FA Cup’s such a big opportunity for us to get some silverware and we’ll be looking to do that."

Michael O’Neil spoke of how the game will be a competitive one and how it would have been an even better game if there were fans in the ground too.

He said: “Ultimately you have to be competitive in the game and that is what we aspire to be. It would be a great cup tie to have if the ground was full, coming up against a team that is at the top of the Premier League and have been there all season.

He also went on to talk about causing an upset, adding: “You can have the benefit of trying to cause an upset and we’ll try that regardless. The important thing for us is to get a good level of performance and as I say, a positive result.”

How to watch:

The game is available to TV licence holders on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer for a 3 pm kick-off.

Live text updates are also available on the Vavel website and Leicester Vavel Twitter Page.

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