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Stoke remain as high as eighth in the Championship following a rotten run of just the single win in seven league outings, while in addition they went down 3-1 hosting Tottenham in the League Cup.
They’re just W1-D4-L3 over this period since early December, with all three defeats inflicted on home turf, so the Foxes deserve their billing as favourites in this midlands clash when visiting weaker opposition.
Leicester’s win away at Newcastle on Sunday leaves them with a single defeat from eight outings, including three wins from four unbeaten road trips.
In fact, they’re W7-D1-L1 on their travels domestically this season as the sole defeat came at Liverpool, including impressive wins over Man City, Arsenal, Leeds and Tottenham.
They scored at least twice in all but one of those victories, and Brendan Rodgers has the resources to rotate his squad a little and keep them firing.
Having said that, Leicester haven’t had a midweek fixture prior to the game and won’t next week either, so Rodgers can afford to field a strong line-up.
He’s endured a few selection problems this this season, particularly at the back, but the injuries have subsided as only long-term absentee Ricardo Pereira remains unavailable and even he’s closing in on a return.
James Maddison and Timothy Castagne are unlikely to be risked here having just resumed playing, but the likes of Cengiz Under, Caglar Soyuncu, Luke Thomas and Kelechi Iheanacho will all be eager for some game time. Regardless of the team Rodgers elects for, it should possess the necessary tools for the job.
Leicester To Beat Stoke
Stoke have lost five of their last six winless matches in this tournament going back to January 2016, with the strongest sides they faced (Palace, Wolves and Brentford) all winning either 1-0 or 2-0.
We wouldn’t rule them out from scoring, as they did when losing to Tottenham recently, but they’ve conceded at least twice in six of seven defeats this season and should find themselves outgunned regardless.
Stoke have just three clean sheets in 12 home games since October, losing four of the last seven, and there are some fitness concerns for Michael O’Neill to contend with.
Adam Davies stepped up well to replace Palace-bound Jack Butland before suffering a knee ligament injury in October, while replacement Angus Gunn subsequently did his ankle ligaments and is also a number of weeks from returning.
Left-back Morgan Fox added himself to the casualty list just before Christmas, but the biggest loss has been veteran striker Steven Fletcher.
The Scot has endured a frustrating couple of months after suffering a couple of injuries and Stoke have scored just three times in their last seven outings now.