Given recent results between the two sides it is difficult to believe that Leicester have beaten West Bromwich Albion no less than 34 times over the years. It’s a fact which disguises the disappointing set of results, especially at home, that Leicester fans have suffered at the hands of the Baggies in recent times.
The Foxes haven’t beaten West Brom at home since January 1994 and Leicester have won just one of the past eight league and cup meetings between the two sides. Further still, City have never progressed in a League Cup tie against West Brom.
This tie, however, will be settled not by history but the priorities of the two managers. So far this season Robert Di Mateo has used the League Cup as a testing ground for squad players. Only three of the 14 players who have started the Baggies two previous League Cup matches have also made more than one Premier League start.
It remains to be see what Sven-Goran Eriksson’s approach will be, but he fielded a reasonable proportion of first team regulars in League Cup matches at Manchester City. And the Leicester boss might be further spurred on to field a strong line-up given that the match could see City in the Quarter-Finals of the competition for the first time since they won it in 2000.
West Brom’s four away trips in the league this season have been to Stamford Bridge, Anfield, The Emirates and Old Trafford, so it’s difficult to assess how they might play away from home in a match that, on paper, they are favourites to win. Like the Foxes, West Brom have been goal shy in the first half, with just four of their 17 goals in all competitions coming before the interval. They’ve also allowed the opposition to take the lead far too often, only scoring first in two league matches this term. But most worrying for City fans is the number of points West Brom have won from losing positions. Only Tottenham (10) have won more points in the Premier league after falling behind than the Baggies (9) this season.
Leicester fans will perhaps be comforted by the thought that the Foxes haven’t lost a League Cup tie at home since October 2006, but perhaps less so when reminded that there have only been two of them. A win and a trip to the last eight would make the idea of Wembley more conceivable. A good cup run could be just what City’s season needs. But Leicester are sure to be tested by whatever side the visitors choose to put out. A victory here will need to be built on the foundations of a strong side, and probably a bit of luck.