Nine changes, Claude Puel method returns: Leicester’s predicted XI to face Wigan – opinion

For Premier League teams the FA Cup returns this weekend.

With Leicester sitting second in the Premier League, this is a great opportunity for the Foxes to upset the apple cart and potentially end their season in May with some silverware.

It was incredibly surprising last season that Claude Puel decided not to take the FA Cup seriously as they were dumped out in January by Newport County.

That defeat saw a huge amount of rotation as fringe players got their opportunities. Most notably individuals like Shinji Okazaki and Rachid Ghezzal came into the team.

Considering they were 12 points off the top four at this stage of the campaign last term, it was bizarre that they didn’t field a stronger line-up.

However, with Leicester having something to compete for in the league this term, Brendan Rodgers should look to take the same approach as Puel, at least in the third round anyway.

The Foxes could make as many as nine changes for their clash against Wigan on Saturday evening. A busy festive schedule dictates that players should be rested while back to back victories with fringe players at the forefront is evidence that Rodgers can rely on his entire squad to deliver.

Danny Ward is one of the changes and is set to play in just his third match this season as their resident cup goalkeeper.

James Justin earned glowing reviews from supporters after his performance against West Ham and is likely to come in for Ricardo Pereira who only returned from a minor injury against Newcastle.

Wes Morgan could be set for a rare start with Christian Fuchs making a successive appearance too.

The midfield will have a different look to it, one that sees Hamza Choudhury play next to Nampalys Mendy. The former comes into the game off the back of his very first senior strike.

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Dennis Praet missed some of the festive period with illness but Rodgers has confirmed that he’ll be available to face the Latics so he plays behind the striker.

That midfield means that influential figures Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans all have to settle for roles from the bench.

Jamie Vardy was absent with a calf problem last time out so it’s unlikely he’ll be risked in the FA Cup this time around.

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has another potential success story right in the palms of his hands…

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