Date:Sunday January 9 2011
Probable Leicester Team:
Morrison - Hobbs - Bamba - Berner
Wellens - King - Abe
Dyer - Vassell - Gallagher
City Team News:
Silva is still recovering from a swollen knee sustained against Blackpool but thankfully, should be fit for next weekend`s fixture versus Wolves. It remains unknown whether Balotelli requires minor knee reconstruction surgery but he too is ruled out for today's match. Edin Dzeko's transfer went through too late for him to be included in City's squad, meaning the Bosnian has time to try and bed-in before making his debut. Pablo Zabaleta has his red card rescinded by the FA and is therefore available for selection.
Hart should get a well-earned rest meaning Given is likely to take the gloves. Lescott is a definite in defence but I am uncertain to who will be selected to partner him. Mancini could opt for Boyata but I think Kolo is likelier to get the nod. The Gaffer has promised to name a strong side and will probably blood Carlos Tevez in attack. The plan will be to bag a few goals and then replace the most important players with the youngsters.
Probable City Team:
2) Richards - 28) Kolo 19) Lescott - 17) Boateng
8) SWP - 24) Vieira - 7) Milner - 11) A. Johnson
32) Tevez - 27) Jo
After four taxing games in the space of ten days, Mancini is likely to ring the changes. However, he maintains that a strong side will be selected. With the Europa League games returning in mid-February, he will be looking to get the job done and avoid a replay. Therefore, I`m expecting him to hand the likes of Tevez and Kolo starts, hopeful that a lead can be taken and that substitutions can be made after around half an hour.
Leicester are decent opposition and should not be underestimated. They have absolutely nothing to lose and should be well up for the game. Managed by City favourite Sven and with the simply sensational Darius Vassell in attack, The Blues should not expect an easy ride. The player we have to watch most carefully is Andy King who has been a revelation for the Foxes this campaign, making late breaks into the box and bagging more than his fair share of goals.
This is actually a very important game because the FA Cup represents an extremely realistic opportunity of silverware. With Sunderland, Newcastle, Middleborough and West Brom already out and Arsenal facing a tough replay at Elland Road, City must concentrate on progression.
Despite possessing a few decent players, City should have too much for Leicester. Tevez (if selected) should be too good for their defence and I`m predicting a comfortable City win. Prediction: Leicester 1 - 4 City.
Date:Sunday January 9 2011
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