Preview: Leicester City vs. West Bromwich Albion – prediction, team news, lineups

Leicester City will be aiming to use their FA Cup success as a platform to push on and return to winning ways in the Premier League when they host West Bromwich Albion on Thursday.

The Foxes have lost their last two league matches and are nervously looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack, while West Brom have boosted their survival prospects with back-to-back wins.

Match preview

Preview: Leicester vs. West Brom – prediction, team news, lineups

Leicester have a first FA Cup final in 52 years to look forward to against Manchester City next month thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s strike to overcome Southampton 1-0 on Sunday.

That match, played in front of 4,000 socially-distanced spectators at Wembley, was far from a classic but City will not care one bit after getting the job done.

The May 15 final with Man City can be forgotten about for the time being, however, as the Foxes have plenty to play for between now and then in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers’s side have slipped to successive losses against Man City and West Ham in their last two league games to halt their momentum somewhat.

Those losses mean City have just a two-point lead on fifth-placed Chelsea, who face Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday, and a three-point gap on Liverpool, who have played a game more.

Leicester famously collapsed towards the end of last season to somehow miss out on a top-four finish, and they still have a tough match with Manchester United to come in their remaining five games.

Preview: Leicester vs. West Brom – prediction, team news, lineups

Any further slip-ups could prove costly, then, but City have not lost three league games in a row since February 2019 in Claude Puel’s last three matches in charge.

In contrast to Leicester, opponents West Brom’s results have started to pick up thanks to successive wins over Chelsea and Southampton.

The memorable 5-2 victory at Stamford Bridge may just be the catalyst for one of the Premier League’s most extraordinary relegation escapes, with Albion following that up by seeing off Southampton 3-0.

The Baggies are still nine points from safety with a game in hand, though, so it is pretty much a case of winning each of their remaining matches if they are to catch Burnley or one of the other strugglers.

The good news for Albion is that they are unbeaten in their last eight away league games against Midlands rivals Leicester in a run stretching back to 1994.

However, they have played more Premier League games on a Thursday without ever winning than any other side in the competition, losing three and drawing two of their past five such encounters.

Leicester City Premier League form:
Leicester City form (all competitions):
West Bromwich Albion Premier League form:

Team News
James Justin and Harvey Barnes remain sidelined for Leicester, while Ricardo Pereira is also major fitness doubt after limping off against Southampton.

Rodgers recalled Ayoze Perez to the starting lineup in that most recent match after previously being left out for disciplinary reasons, while James Maddison – also guilty of breaching COVID-19 regulations – was a second-half substitute.

Maddison is pushing for inclusion here and Marc Albrighton may also come into the side should Pereira fail to overcome his injury problem.

FA Cup semi-final matchwinner Iheanacho has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League games, meanwhile, which is as many as he had in his previous 63 appearances in the competition.

As for the visitors, Branislav Ivanovic is their only known injury absentee after limping off against former side Chelsea a couple of weeks ago.

Given the manner of his side’s victory against Southampton, Sam Allardyce may well be tempted to go with the same starting lineup here.

If not, then the likes of Conor Gallagher, Hal Robson-Kanu and Semi Ajayi are among those who could potentially come into the side.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu; Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Castagne; Maddison; Vardy, Iheanacho

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, O’Shea, Bartley, Townsend; Phillips, Yokuslu, Maitland-Niles, Robinson; Pereira; Diagne

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