Fleetwood Town vs Leicester City preview: Can the Foxes begin their cup campaign in style?

With the first week of 2018 well underway, attentions turn to the return of FA Cup action for Claude Puel's Leicester City side, who take the trip to League One outfit, Fleetwood Town in the third-round.

Fleetwood Town vs Leicester City preview: Can the Foxes begin their cup campaign in style?
Jamie Vardy could be set to miss his return to Highbury Stadium | Photo: Getty images/Alex Livesey

With Leicester City comfortably sitting in the top half of the Premier League table, attentions turn to the return of the FA Cup, with the Foxes travelling to League One outfit, Fleetwood Town.

The former Premier League champions head into the match on the back of a superb 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the King Power Stadium on New Years Day

After an uneventful first 45 minutes, the Foxes swept past the Terriers, with Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton scoring the goals that moved Claude Puel's side onto 30 points in the Premier League. 

Fleetwood Town meanwhile sit 12th in League One after an inconsistent campaign thus far. Following consecutive 2-1 and 2-0 victories away to Oldham Atheltic and Bury respectively over the festive period, the Cod Army were defeated on New Year's Day 2-1 against Bradford City. Following a strong start, Jack Sowerby gave Fleetwood a 21st-minute lead, but second half strikes from Alex Gilliead and Shay McCartan gave the Bantams victory at Highbury.

Hosts Edge Through Opening Rounds

Following two enthralling opening rounds of FA Cup action, Fleetwood Town will host the Foxes in front of the television camera's in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off. They have certainly been forced to earn their reward against a Premier League outfit. 

In the first round of the competition, an injury-time winner from Jack Sowerby earned 10-man Fleetwood a 2-1 victory at non-league outfit Chorley. Sixth-tier Chorley took an unlikely lead in the 58th minute through Marcus Carver.

Fleetwood were reduced to 10 men when Lewie Coyle was dismissed, before Devonte Cole levelled the scores in the 77th minute. Sowerby pounced on a defensive error to earn the League One outfit a home tie with Hereford FC

It took a second round replay for Fleetwood to set up Saturday's tie with Leicester City. After a disappointing 1-1 draw with Hereford FC in front of their home faithful, Uwe Rösler's Fleetwood earned a 2-0 victory on the road. 

Captain, Cain Bolger scored either side of half-time to earn the Cod Army a route into Round Three.

A Hero Returns 

Whether fit or not for Saturday's meeting, Jamie Vardy will certainly receive a hero's welcome from the Fleetwood supporters. 

The striker, who moved to Leicester City in May 2012 for a non-league record fee of £1 million, helped the Cod Army to promotion to the Football League and FA Cup third-round with 34 goals in the 2011/12 campaign. 

Since moving to the King Power Stadium, Vardy has become a Premier League champion and a full England international. He also became the first Leicester City player to score 50 goals Premier League goals when he opened the scoring in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United - a far cry from some of the fixtures he would have enjoyed whilst with Fleetwood.

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Team News 

Whilst returning to Highbury on Saturday, Jamie Vardy is a doubt for making it onto the pitch this weekend after missing the game with Huddersfield Town on New Year's Day through a groin injury.

Claude Puel has confirmed that defensive duo Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan will miss the game due to hamstring injuries.

The Foxes' manager could hand Portuguese international, Adrien Silva a full debut and may give game time to youngsters Hamza Choudhury and Harvey Barnes - the latter being recalled from his loan spell at Championship club Barnsley. 

The hosts will be without new signing Paddy Madden, who is ineligible to play, having already featured for Scunthorpe United this season. 

The Cod Army will also be without midfielder, Bobby Grant, who remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Predicted Line-Up

Fleetwood Town: Cairns; Eastham, Bolger, Sowerby, Bell; Dempsey, Glendon, Bolger, Hiwula-Mayifuila; Cole, Burns.

Leicester City: Hamer; Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Gray, James, Silva, Albrighton; Iheanacho, Slimani.