The Warm Down: Foxes ease through to the fourth round with win at Stoke
Leicester City cruised to the FA Cup Fourth Round against Stoke | Photo: Getty/ Malcolm Couzens

Leicester City secured their passage to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup on Saturday with a comfortable 4-0 win against SkyBet Championship outfit Stoke City.

A first-half wonder-strike from James Justin gave the Foxes a deserved lead before Marc Albrighton's first goal since 2019 shortly after the break was followed by a quick-fire double blow from Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes to seal a successful day for Brendan Rodgers' side.

The East Midlanders were too good on the day, rarely getting out of second gear if truth be told, to ensure their name would be in the hat for Monday's draw in emphatic style.

James Justin for England?

When Ricardo Pereira began his lengthy spell on the sidelines with injury, many questioned if Justin could step up and fill the void, but the former Luton Town man has well and truly exceeded expectations.

The full-back was excellent yet again at the bet365 Stadium, using his forward-thinking mind to get up the pitch and support wide man Barnes and cause havoc for Stoke defender Tommy Smith.

His afternoon got better as he broke the deadlock shortly after the half-hour mark, controlling the ball just outside of the box with his left-foot before cutting back onto his right. He then unleashed a stunning curling effort which left goalkeeper Joe Bursik rooted to the spot and the ball in the top corner.

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Saturday was one of Justin's best games in a Leicester shirt and with the small matter of the European Championship's coming up this summer, is there a possibility that Gareth Southgate could call upon the 22-year-old?

Justin's ability to play anywhere across the back could be instrumental and add some much-needed versatility and depth to his squad. With performances like yesterday, he is surely to be in the thoughts of the England boss.

Tielemans a joy to watch

Youri Tielemans is having another excellent season in the middle of the park for the Foxes and Saturday once again saw the Belgian produce a classy performance.

The former Monaco man has been deployed in a deeper role this season, playing alongside Wilfred Ndidi and it has benefitted him massively. Almost similar to that of a quarterback in the NFL, the 23-year-old's ability to receive the ball and pick out the killer pass is mesmerising to watch at times.

His threaded through ball for Leicester's second goal was expertly done and is something he has done time and time again this campaign. Tielemans had more touches than anyone else on the pitch, controlling the play from the first minute to the last minute but he has also improved his defensive ability, covering ground all over and winning the ball with ease, demonstrating why he is becoming one of the best box to box midfielders in the country. 

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Rodgers is taking the cups seriously

Since Brendan Rodgers' arrival at the club back in February 2019, the cup competitions have been of a similar importance to the Premier League and the Northern Irishman's line-up on Saturday proved that.

Making just two changes to the side that started the win at Newcastle United - with Jamie Vardy and James Maddison being replaced by Dennis Praet and goalscorer Perez to allow them to recover from minor knocks, the strength of the line-up indicated that this is a competition Rodgers has his eyes on.

In Leicester's 137-year history they have never lifted the FA Cup and with Rodgers keen to add silverware to his already-impressive tenure in the East Midlands, should he break the Foxes' duck and deliver a maiden victory in the oldest domestic cup competition in football, he will write himself into Leicester City folklore.

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