Leicester City will aim to get the better of lowly Blackburn Rovers in their FA Cup fifth Round match at the King Power Park.

Premier League side Leicester City will welcome Championship giants Blackburn Rovers to the King Power Stadium for their FA Cup fifth-round tie on Tuesday night. This will be the first meeting between the clubs since the 2014/15 season when they were both in the English second tier. Both sides have also not faced off against each other in the FA Cup since the 2004/05 campaign.

Brendan Rodgers’s side recently lifted the prestigious trophy in 2021, the club’s first-ever triumph in the competition. The Foxes might have fallen off since. But the magic of the cup is well and truly alive, and a second run at the title could be in the offing.

Blackburn, on the other hand, have won the competition six times. But only one of them has come in the last 100 years. Rovers last lifted the trophy in 1927/28 and have failed to make it past the fifth round of the competition since 2014/15.

John Dahl Tommasson’s side are currently fourth in the Championship and look set to secure a playoff spot for promotion to the Premier League. The clash against Leicester will be a good test for them to gauge if they are ready for the challenge.

Leicester City have been blessed by the lottery gods this season, securing favourable draws in the FA Cup so far. The Foxes, however, are their own worst enemy and have struggled to drive home their advantage in quality.

An in-form Blackburn side will offer more of a challenge, and it promises to be an exciting game at the King Power Stadium. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers’s side have been inconsistent all season and have also struggled with injuries to key players. James Maddison missed the game against Arsenal at the weekend. And it remains unclear if he will be available for the FA Cup clash.

The Foxes will also be without Ryan Bertrand, James Justin and Jonny Evans as the trio continue to recover from niggles. Rodgers started a strong XI against Walsall in the previous round and appears to be showing priority to putting together a strong cup run.

Leicester are only three points off the relegation zone but would be silly not to take advantage of their favourable draw and risk booking a spot in the final eight. Rodgers is likely to go in with a 4-2-3-1 formation against the in-form Blackburn side.

Daniel Iversen should start in goal behind the back four of Ricardo Pereira, Daniel Amartey, Wout Faes and Luke Thomas. Boubakary Soumare and Nampalys Mendy should return to the lineup and form the double pivot in the middle of the park, especially if Youri Tielemans is unavailable. The Belgian is likely to leave the club in the summer and will be keen to repeat his heroics from 2021.

Tete, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Harvey Barnes are likely to form the attacking midfield trio, with Patson Daka leading the frontline. The front four so to say have the mobility and directness to get the better of Blackburn should they turn up on the night.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Iversen; Pereira, Amartey, Faes, Thomas; Soumare, Mendy; Tete, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes; Daka

Blackburn Rovers

The Championship side have bigger fish to cook, with a return to the Premier League very much a real possibility. Jon Dahl Tomasson, however, can build further momentum and belief in his side by getting the better of a Premier League side and taking his team to the quarter-final.

The Danish boss’s hands will, however, be tied thanks to a spate of injuries in his roster. Scott Wharton, Bradley Dack, Sam Barnes, Adam Wharton, Daniel Ayala, Ben Brereton Diaz and Clinton Mola are all unavailable as they recover from injury layoffs.

To add to Blackburn’s woes, January signing Sorba Thomas is cup-tied having already represented Huddersfield Town in the competition. The visitors do have a shot at giant killing given Leicester’s inconsistency and should line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation that mirrors their opponents.

Aynsley Alan William Pears should be expected to start in goal behind the back four of Joe Rankin-Costello, Hayden Carter, Dominic Hyam and Callum Brittain. Lewis Travis and John Buckley will be tasked with keeping Boubakary Soumare and Nampalys Mendy quiet, shackling Leicester’s ability to transition from defence to attack.

Tyrhys Dolan, Sammie Szmodics and Ryan Hedges will bring up the attacking midfield behind Sam Gallagher, who should lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pears; Rankin-Costello, Carter, Hyam, Brittain; Travis, Buckley; Dolan, Szmodics, Hedges; Gallagher

Key Stats

  • This is the first time that both the teams have faced off against each other in the FA Cup since the 2004/05 quarter-final. Former Foxes ace Paul Dickov was ironically the hero for Blackburn on the night courtesy of a 1-0 win.
  • Blackburn Rovers have not won away at Leicester City since 1991, a run of 10 games.
  • A win on the night will see Leicester City improve their FA Cup fifth-round record at home to four straight wins.
  • A win on the night will see Blackburn Rovers make it to the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time since 2014/15.
  • Kelechi Iheanacho has now scored 17 goals in the FA Cup since his debut in the competition in 2016. This is the most by any player in that timeframe.

Player to Watch

Kelechi Iheanacho

Embed from Getty Images

The young Nigerian has had his moments in a Leicester City jersey but struggles for playtime at the King Power Stadium. Whether he starts the game over Patson Daka or comes off the bench, there is every reason to believe that Iheanacho will have a telling impact on the game.

He has twice been the Foxes’ hero in their run-up to the fifth round this season. Iheanacho scored the winners over Gillingham and Walsall. But it has done little to improve his standing at the club. At best, he continues to be seen as an impact addition.

Players with such traits, however, thrive in knockout competitions. And Tuesday’s game should present him with yet another opportunity to do so. Should Leicester struggle, it won’t come as a surprise if Rodgers turns to his number 14 to settle the tie.


Leicester City 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Leicester go into the game as favourites. But their inconsistency this season gives Blackburn a shot at upsetting the odds. Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side are handicapped by injuries, and the loss of Ben Brereton Diaz is a huge blow.

However, they have momentum in their favour, and a win over Leicester will only increase morale ahead of a playoff push this season. Leicester have home advantage and players of a higher calibre to call upon. Ultimately, their experience should see them prevail in a game that should be hard-fought. 

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