FA Cup 4th Round Preview: Leicester City vs Swindon Town

This Saturday afternoon Swindon Town travel to the King Power Stadium Leicester for our first FA Cup 4th Round tie since 1996.

Form…

Town come into the game thanks to FA Cup wins against Huddersfield Town, Colchester and Wigan Athletic. Swindon are on a run of five victories in six games and only one defeat in all competitions in 22 games.

Leicester comfortably beat East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest 4-0 in their Third Round replay last week. The Foxes lie 13th in the Championship following a Monday night 2-0 victory at Southampton and have secured two victories, two draws and two defeats from their previous six league matches.

Swindon-Town-FC.co.uk Head-to-Head…

The sides first met in 1969 and have never faced in the FA Cup.

In the 19 previous meetings – which were all in the Football League – Swindon have won five games, drawn eight and defeated on six occasions, scoring 34 and conceding 35; including that famous 4-3 win at Wembley in 1993.

The last meeting was a 1-1 draw in League One in February 2009 at the King Power Stadium.

The Leicester City View….

We talk to Swindon based Gloria Leicester-Fan, Matt Corps…

Pearson has recently returned to Leicester to put right a failing promotion bid, but results have continued to slip. Where you in support of his return and do you see him as the man to take you back to the Premier League?

I openly admit I was not that keen on his return. Maybe this can be somewhat attributed to the rumours that were circulating concerning a Martin O’Neill comeback (what Foxes fan would be adverse to that?) However, I approve of his hard work ethos and following two back-to-back entirely convincing wins, I have confidence in Pearson to take us into the playoffs. From that point onwards it is anybody’s guess as to how we may fare in the ‘promotion lottery’.

Who are the key players for Leicester we should be keeping a look out for?

David Nugent is looking very good right now and he’s our top scorer so he’s an obvious choice. Lee Peltier is proving solid at the back, and luckily so is Sean St Ledger while sol Bamba is away at the African Cup Of Nations. Jermaine Beckford & Kasper Schmeichel complete my short-list here.

What has your FA Cup record been like in recent years?

It’s no secret that we’re known for our League Cup success NOT that of the FA Cup. Apart from getting through to the 6th round in 2005 only to be knocked out by Blackburn, there has been nothing much to shout about. Before that 2005 run you’ve got to go back as far as 1982 for a semi-final appearance against Spurs and then back to the 1969 final where we were defeated 1-0 by Man City.

With all attention on Leicester mounting a push for promotion, would an FA Cup run be a distraction for you?

It seems as though we’ve got it all to do in-terms of a long and steep climb to the play-off places, but don’t forget that there’s a lot of congestion in the mid to upper part of the Championship. I think a good performance in this forthcoming cup tie could boost our confidence yet further and hopefully we’ll keep up the form when we meet Boro in the next league match.

Any predictions for the result on Saturday?

This is a tough call as both sides are clearly in good form at present. Personally I think Paolo Di Canio and his players will be hungrier for the win and may cause an upset. Having said that I’m going to go for a 2-1 win for Leicester based on our current form.

Swindon Total FA Cup Record…

Swindon Town have played 334 matches in the FA Cup, winning 167, drawing 53 and defeated on 114 occasions. In those 334 matches 655 goals have been scored and 467 conceded.

Four of our biggest ever victories have come in the FA Cup including; 10-1 over Farnham United Breweries in November 1925, 9-0 over Maidenhead United in 1890, 9-0 over Poole in 1903 and another 9-0 against Whiteheads in 1902.

Swindon’s best performance in the FA Cup were semi-final appearances in 1910 and 1912.

In modern times, Town have made the Quarter Final on two occasions in 1923/24 and 1969/70.

Since that Quarter Final in 1969/70, Swindon have been defeated in the 1st Round five times, 2nd Round five times, 3rd Round sixteen times, 4th Round thirteen times and twice in the 5th Round in 1991/92 and 1995/96.

Swindon have not made it to the 4th Round since a meeting with Oldham Athletic in February 1996. Town won thanks to a last gasp Martin Ling winner to set up a meeting with Southampton, which Swindon eventually lost in the replay.

My prediction…

Leicester’s Monday night victory at Southampton has only served to reinforce how difficult this will be for us. I know Southampton are suffering a dip in form, but the Saints terrorized us back in August, perhaps hinting at Pearson finally getting something from his side.

Having said that, Town are an entirely different team to earlier this season and with our excellent run of results, Leicester perhaps keener to concentrate on the League, I’d agree with Matt that Swindon will be hungrier for the win. I’ll be at the King Power tomorrow and hopefully watching a 2-1 Swindon victory.

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