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Match Preview: Newport County vs Leicester City

Leicester travel to Newport County for their first foray into the FA Cup of the season.

Everton FC v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Newport County vs Leicester City FA Cup Round 3

Live from Rodney Parade, Sunday at 11:30 AM ET on ESPN +

Newport County won an FA Cup replay at home 4-0 against Wrexham to enter the draw for the third round. This time last year they were defeating Leeds at home, and took Tottenham to the brink in round four, so Leicester will have their work cut out for them. This is also the first competitive meeting of the two since 1946-1947, with the Foxes winning both matches of that season.

The Opposition

Newport County will be happy with this match whatever the result. The fact that this was selected for a live spot is heavily down to how they played last season at this stage of the FA Cup. Everyone not fans of Leicester City will love them to “slay a giant” and every tv exec will be watering at the mouth hoping for that result. The only thing that stops their “magic of the cup” vomit spewing is when it’s full of Premier League teams and neutral fans stop watching.

Newport County v Wrexham - The Emirates FA Cup Second Round Replay
Padraig Amond, scorer of two FA Cup goals so far.
Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

A quick but un-thorough Google search revealed to me that a player named Padraig has never scored against Leicester. While I will have open up the archives to prove this fact, there is a real chance that could change on Sunday. Padraig Amond is Newport’s best goalscorer, with 14 so far in all competitions, and will be their most dangerous threat going forward.

The Foxes

Leicester will be glad they’ve got an extra day to recover before facing Newport County on Sunday. I expect this to be a highly rotated squad and may feature some folks we haven’t seen in ages like Adrien Silva, or Matty James. Kelechi Iheanacho will almost absolutely start up front. If Jamie Vardy plays any role in this it will certainly be from the bench. While I personally don’t care about the result of this cup run, I would much rather lose than have a replay at the King Power stadium. This team needs to be more focused on finishing the season as high as possible in my opinion, primarily because of how they operated last year where they fell off the mark when they had a real shot at reaching European football.

The Prediction

While I know I said I would much rather lose, I don’t think the Foxes will actually succumb to that. Demarai Gray is so talented that this game is the perfect opportunity to reignite his love from the fans. I think he gets a brace and Nacho bags one to get everyone off his back. The final is 3-1 to Leicester.