Much has happened to Leicester City since they last met East Midlands rivals Derby County in January 2014.
The Foxes, then managed by Nigel Pearson, beat their near neighbours 4-1 to go seven points clear at the top of the Championship.
Promotion that season followed, before a miraculous great escape, the sacking of Pearson and hiring of Claudio Ranieri, and the most remarkable Premier League title win of all time.
It’s almost fitting that when Leicester travel to Derby tonight for their FA Cup fourth round clash, the Foxes have managed to be both in a relegation battle and in the Champions League last 16.
Ranieri’s men have been in miserable domestic form this term, picking up just five wins all season, and looking a shadow of the side that swept all before them last year.
Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Southampton meant Leicester have failed to win any of their 11 away games, and they sit just three places and five points above the drop zone.
Make no mistake, the champions are in a relegation fight.
Derby’s fortunes have changed too, ironically since they also dispensed of Pearson’s services in October.
They sat 20th in the Championship when Steve McClaren returned to Pride Park, but have since won 10 of the 16 games under the former England boss, to move within a point of the playoffs.
With their rivals, and the TV cameras, visiting tonight, they’re more than capable of causing an upset.
A Derby victory is 9/5 with Star Sports, which I like the look of.
With Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Jamie Vardy bereft of confidence having scored just five goals all year, Leicester look toothless up front, and can’t buy a win on the road.
Having beaten Premier League West Brom outfit in the last round, in-form Derby will fancy their chances against a Leicester side that may be happy to do without the distraction of the FA Cup.
Tom Ince is in fine form, and scored last weekend against Reading, as well as the winner in that West Brom victory three weeks ago.
He’ll be licking his lips at a Foxes defence that has conceded 24 times in 11 away league matches this year, and could ship a few more here.
Buy total goals at 2.55 with Sporting Index.
Derby- 9/5 (Star Sports)
Buy total goals - 2.55 (Sporting Index)