Nigel Pearson has seen his side become promotion contenders this season and will truly believe his side are strong enough to overcome Premier League opposition in the form that they are in, with goals seemingly available from almost all areas of the pitch.
The Foxes boss has insisted this week that Leicester are not necessarily underdogs in this tie and, whatever way you look at it, it’s hard to find a case to argue with him.
Fulham’s season so far has been a frustrating one. Their league form has been hit and miss, while they overcame an unbeaten Everton side the previous round of this competition – a game in which they were the underdogs.
And Pearson could be forgiven in suggesting that Leicester can compete with Fulham on their day. After all, despite their respective divisions, it’s Leicester who go in to this game brimming with confidence and well prepared to continue their run of seven wins in a row in all competitions at the King Power Stadium.
But Leicester’s all-time record against Fulham is less than impressive. They’ve lost four of their last five meetings with them and have managed just 25 victories from their 81 competitive meetings to date. However, the last time Leicester beat Fulham in this competition – after a penalty shoot-out in round five – they went on to win lift the trophy in 2000.
Martin Jol will be asking his side to show their Premier League quality here, though, with several of his players under performing so far this season and only on-loan Aston Villa striker finding the net on more than two occasions (3).
Fulham were ripped apart by Southampton at the weekend and were lucky to come away with just a 2-0 loss having not registered a single shot on target during the game, compared to Saints’ six.
Pearson may have to do without top-scorer David Nugent is doubtful through illness, but he has Chris Wood waiting in line to fill in, who provides ample enough back up.
Martin Jol needs something to kick-start his side’s season and is therefore unlikely to ring too many changes from the side that faced Southampton on Saturday. But captain Brede Hangeland looks unlikely to feature having missed the weekend’s game with a leg problem.
If form is anything to go by then Leicester should be favourites to progress in this tie, but Fulham have enjoyed some good results in the cup to cushion the blow of their poor start in the Premier League. A place in the quarter-finals and a step closer to Wembley in February will be a prospect neither manager will want to pass up here.
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