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What To Watch For: Leicester City vs. Watford (FA Cup)

Will a depleted foxes side take the first step towards defending their title?

Leicester City Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

After a very up and down first half of the season, Leicester will look to build on the momentum that beating Liverpool has provided. With 10 days off after the last match, hopefully Leicester can come out rested and healthier than during the holiday period. Here are some of the things to watch for in our FA Cup tie on Saturday.

1. The Health of the Foxes

The main talking point of the foxes has been, and will continue to be, the health of the squad. When both squads are healthy, most would take the foxes. But between Covid, Injuries, and the players participating in AFCON, the squad is… rather barebones at this point. News broke today that Vardy will be out for up to 8 weeks and Evans recently had an operation and will most likely be out until April.

Rather than name off all of the players that are unavailable in the squad, I will save everyone some time and focus on who is available. The foxes will only have NINE (!!!) senior outfield players available for selection on Saturday. Will the game be postponed to allow us to get a few players back? Doubtful. Because we are not Liverpool.

2. Can Leicester Avoid More Injuries?

With so many players out, the squad has to get through this game without more injuries. Which brings up the question… do we just play the kids? Even if we go out, it could be a blessing as it would allow us to heal up and just focus on the league. I understand we are the defending champions, but it is desperation time at this point. It may be time to throw the FA Cup overboard and just focus on trying to qualify for Europe next season. Even with our horrendous start, if we win both our games in hand we will somehow only be 4 points of 4th place.

3. Clean Sheet For the Foxes?

With all of this being said, the key to a Leicester victory is the same as it has been all season. With a defense that is almost laughably bad for a team with Champions League dreams, (33 goals allowed through 18 games in the league) the key for Leicester to advance will be to patch up that leaky back line. With more players missing than ever, this is a tall task and it will be interesting to see how Brendan Rogers deals with this seemingly impossible situation.