For both sides, this weekend’s FA Cup 5th round matchup will be welcome respite from the perils of Premier League action after a tumultuous week for the Foxes, with the non-sacking of manager Nigel Pearson after a baffling few hours on Sunday evening. For Villa, the week only got worse and culminated in the sacking of manager Paul Lambert, who was finally put out of his misery after the midweek defeat to Hull City.
After the crazy Sunday, it was back to league action for Leicester during the week as they travelled to the capital to face Arsenal and despite narrowly losing 2-1, the side showed some excellent spirit and were unlucky not to gain something from the game.
This weekend the club can forget the troubles of the league and relax as they travel to Villa Park in what they must know, could be a great opportunity to make the latter stages of the FA Cup. Certainly with a Villa side in arguably more turmoil than Leicester themselves, the time is right for them to mount a serious challenge for cup success.
The midweek display at the Emirates Stadium, was a step in the right direction and it saw a distinct change in direction for the club as they moved to a back three with the introduction of loan signing Robert Huth and the first action from summer signing Matt Upson. The two experienced Premier League campaigners will certainly give the Leicester side a welcome boost and look for that partnership with skipper Wes Morgan to continue.
The narrow defeat in midweek also saw record signing Andrej Krameric get his Leicester City goalscoring tally off the mark with a sweet right footed strike and the Croatian will be looking to add more goals on Sunday, live on TV.
Going to Villa Park, there is likely to see a change in the side with a striker to join Krameric up top, moving from the lone striking role that was apparent on Tuesday night against Arsenal. Boss Nigel Pearson will know that the Birmingham side have been particularly shy in front of goal, and adding more firepower should be the right way to go.
The man to make way could be Konchesky with Schlupp moving to a wingback role that could offer him the freedom to get forward. It is likely Ulloa will move into the second strikers role and he will hope to continue his excellent record of scoring in every round so far.
Manager Pearson does have a number of options should the change to three at the back not work and bringing on former Villa winger Marc Albrighton, could be an option to liven play up if it goes stale at Villa Park.
Aston Villa are in disarray and the sacking of Lambert during the week was probably the most expected manager change of them all. Who goes in to the hot-seat will have an excellent chance to salvage a once proud club and return the club to its rightful place amongst Britain’s elite clubs.
Their main problem has been scoring goals and it is surprising considering the amount of firepower they have in Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke, Fabien Delph and Joe Cole and with the experienced Brad Guzan and Ron Vlaar at the back, the shipping of goals has also been a problem for Aston Villa.
Prediction – Leicester must sense a great opportunity to go far in the FA Cup this season and after their spirited performance against Arsenal, if they perform like that then you have to expect a win for the Foxes against a side who are all over the place. Leicester to take a 2-0 win with Ulloa and Krameric getting a goal each.