Aston Villa vs. Leicester City – FA Cup Fifth Round
Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, February 15th – 12:30PM
Match Odds: Aston Villa 7/5 – Draw 9/4 – Leicester City 19/10
It will be Aston Villa’s first game since they parted company with manager Paul Lambert and they need to get back to winning ways, but most importantly start scoring goals.
Both sides are at difficult points in their season as both Villa and Leicester sit in the relegation zone in the Premier League and will definitely want to avoid a replay from this game as a result. Though a run in the cup will be good for lifting spirits.
Aston Villa have scored just three times in their last ten games in all competitions, while the Foxes have scored ten in the same time.
This is the first Premier League side Aston Villa have faced in this year’s FA Cup after beating Championship outfits Blackpool and AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park in the third and fourth rounds respectively.
Aston Villa’s home record in all competitions: Played 15 – Won 4 – Drawn 5 – Lost – 6
Villa have really struggled this season, scoring just 12 league goals, but as we know, the FA Cup is a completely different competition and they could begin a strong finish to the season with a good result in this tie.
Leicester City’s away record in all competitions: Played 14 – Won 3 – Drawn 1 – Lost – 10
Leicester have really struggled away from home this season, but can take positives from their 2-1 fourth round win against Tottenham and third round victory against Newcastle.
The Foxes come into the game off the back of two defeats and managerial problems of their own after widespread reports suggested that Nigel Pearson had been sacked on Sunday night, though they ultimately proved to be incorrect.
Leicester can get themselves back on track with a win in this game and need to remove some of the media pressure they have been under.
A place in the quarter-final will be a major boost for either side and will help to improve what has been a tough season.
It will be the fifth time these rivals have met in the FA Cup, with both sides having won two each in the previous four encounters. The most recent FA Cup meeting saw the Foxes win 2-1 at Villa Park in 2001.
Aston Villa’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/L
Leicester City’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/L
Key Stat: Aston Villa and Leicester have already faced each other twice in the league this season, with both games ending in victory for the home side by a single goal (2-1 to Villa and 1-0 to Leicester). Expect this to be just as close.
Key Player: Brad Guzan – The USMNT International goalkeeper has been consistently good for Aston Villa this season and if he is on song Villa will likely only need the one goal to progress.
Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1–0 Leicester City – Both sides are struggling and will want to avoid the replay. With Leicester so poor on the road Villa could just edge it.