Nottingham Forest vs Leicester City Pre-Match Analysis

Leicester City travel the short distance up the M1 to face arch-rivals Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of the FA Cup in what is anticipated to be a fierce East Midlands Derby

The Foxes began their defence of their FA Cup title last month following a comfortable 4-1 win over Watford at the King Power Stadium whilst Forest defeated Premier League giants Arsenal 1-0 at the City Ground.
The FA Cup winners haven’t faced Forest since 2014 playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez cancelling out Andy Reid and Jamie Paterson’s strikes.  Foxes boss, Brendan Rodgers will be boosted by the return of Nigerian stars Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi, who’s national team crashed out of the African Cup of Nations to the hands of Tunisia. 

With no fresh injury concerns apart from Jamie Vardy who is a confirmed absence, Patson Daka may retain his place if Rodgers fields a strong side.

  • Foxes boost

Having not played in two weeks, Rodgers has been given the chance to get key players back to full fitness as well as resting players who may have been burning out after a sequence of six games in just 32 days not including three postponements.

Boosted by the return of James Justin, the Foxes are now hoping to return to full-strength with Wesley Fofana expected to return to first-team training in the next week. 

AFCON finalist, Papy Mendy is also expected to return into the Premier League 25-man squad after his omission at the start of this season.

Nottingham Forest will be very much in fine mood for tie as their early season stutter was helped by the appointment of Steve Cooper who has galvanised the reds from bottom of the Championship to as high as 7th in a matter of months. 

Forest will be without striker Lewis Grabban who is facing a long spell on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury against Cardiff City.

However the 34-year olds absence could pave the way for deadline day signing Sam Surridge to make his debut alongside Keinan Davis and Brennan Johnson in the Forest attack.

  • Play the game, not the occasion

Rodgers was widely complimentary of Steeve Cooper and his side ahead of the East-Midlands affair saying;

"They’ve done very well, Steve’s done a brilliant job. It’s going to be a tough examination. 

"We want that again. You have to dig deep and perform well. They (Forest) are a good side. Steve has galvanised the team. They are very well-coached and have talented players

“It’s a great stadium and should be a brilliant atmosphere”

Leicester have had a mixed bag of results at the City ground in recent years with a Dramatic last-gasp winner from Anthony Knockaert sealing the Foxes the last play-off spot ahead of Forest in 2013. 

However, the Foxes have also been defeated 5-1 and 3-2 in recent years on the red side of the Trent.

  • Maintain the attack 

Whilst City’s defence has been a weak point of their season, foxes forwards this season have still managed to bring some joy. 

James Maddison and Patson Daka being the standout attackers with both in double figures for goals, as well as Adomla Lookman chipping in with nine goals. 

Harvey Barnes would be looking to pick his season up after admitting his season has been a difficult with five assist and goals as well as Vardy’s 11 goals, its hard not to be eager when the Foxes counter-attack which could be beneficial against forest who have conceded 31 goals already, this season.

Score prediction: 1-3