HEAD TO HEAD
Leiceser City have been one of the stories of the 2019/20 season. They looked set for a crack at the UEFA Champions League next season and could end up with a trophy to show for their efforts this season. It has been a memorable one for The Foxes, after a tragic moment last season.
Leicester's 2015/16 season was the stuff of legend as they came from nowhere to win the Premier League. They reached the Quarter Finals of the Champions League a year later but have finished no higher than ninth since winning the title. But this season has, once again, seen them at the top of the table.
While Liverpool are out of reach, Leicester spent large stages of the season in the top two before a run of two wins in seven around the turn of the year. But they beat West Ham United 4-1 on Wednesday and are third in the table. They are 19 points behind Liverpool but only three adrift of Manchester City and 14 clear of fifth-placed Manchester United. They have also reached the last four of the Carabao Cup and are 1-1 with Aston Villa ahead of the second leg of the Semi-Final on Tuesday night.
Wednesday's win would have been particularly poigniant as last season was marred by the death of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium on 27 October, shortly after a 1–1 draw with West Ham. They spent last season in mid-table but improved late in the season when Brendan Rodgers arrived as manager and look set for a great 2019/20.
Brendan Rodgers took over as Leicester manager in February last year, leaving Celtic to take up the role. He had won every domestic trophy he competed for when in Glasgow and Celtic went on to complete a third treble in a row after he left. He has had a similar impact at Leicester.
Rodgers, who turns 47 on Sunday, did not have a playing career to speak of because of a knee condition but was on the books at Reading before having to give up the game at the age of 20. He moved in to coaching and has made his name off the pitch. He started his full-time coaching career - after travelling around Spain to learn from some of the best in the game - at Chelsea and progressed to Reserve Team Manager before leaving for Watford in 2008. He spent only seven months in Hertfordshire before a move to Reading but he was sacked after six months.
Rodgers then moved to Swansea and his career took off. He took them in the Premier League in his first season and kept them up before moving to Liverpool in 2012. The Reds were in position to win the Premier League in 2013/14 but faltered at the last and Manchester City took the title. Rodgers ended up leaving in late 2015 and moved to Celtic the following summer, where he reignited his career.
THOMAS' PRE-MATCH THOUGHTS
JOEL VALENCIA'S PRESS CONFERENCE
The Bees are still without long-term absentees Sergi Canos and Nikos Karelis while Mathias Jensen and Pontus Jansson are not expected to be fit. Saïd Benrahma will also miss the game after the death of his father. Brentford made changes for their Third Round win over Stoke City and could do so again.
Leicester top scorer Jamie Vardy limped off in the win over West Ham and will miss the game. Nampalys Mendy faces an absence of four to six weeks because of a knee problem. Leicester have their Carabao Cup Semi-Final at Aston Villa on Tuesday and are expected to rest players with this in mind.
PRE-MATCH BUILD UP
Christopher Kavanagh takes charge on Saturday
Jordan Blackwell of Leicestershire Live previews our Fourth Round clash
The match is Sold Out
HOW TO FOLLOW
With the match an Emirates FA Cup fixture, live footage will not be available via iFollow, but you can tune in to audio coverage. iFollow Brentford will be live from 12.15pm with Mark Burridge, Mick Cabble and Greville Waterman.
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