leicester city
Leicester CityReuters

Not that they would have been keen on having such a poor start to their season, but defending champions Leicester City are struggling to at least stay in the top half of the Premier League this season. A trophy-less season this time around?

Maybe not. There is still a chance for Claudio Ranieri's army to make a mark in the FA Cup and even the Champions League. Leicester, knocked out of League Cup (EFL Cup) this season, play in the fourth round of FA Cup, before beginning their round of 16 campaign in the UEFA competition.

On Friday, they get into the field for their fourth round FA Cup 2016-17 encounter against Championship side Derby County -- the East Midlands derby.

"For me, Leicester are a team who can win, and should have aspirations to win, the FA Cup," said Derby County's experienced coach Steve McLaren. "Leicester wouldn't have achieved what they did last season if it wasn't for Ranieri and their future is brighter for it, because of Ranieri."

The Foxes are coming into the game at the back of a win against Everton in the previous round of FA Cup, while Derby County enter the match at the back of a win against West Brom. Both matches took place in the first week of January 2017.

Riyad Mahrez is back for Leicester, following Algeria's exit from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017. His compatriot, Islam Slimani, is however injured. Striker Jamie Vardy is also available.

Derby County vs Leicester City: Head 2 head

Total meetings: 9

Derby wins: 1

Leicester wins: 8

Match schedule

Date: January 27

Time: 7:55pm GMT (2:55pm EST, 1:25am IST [Saturday])

Venue: Pride Park, Derby

Where to watch live

India: TV - Sony ESPN/HD. Live streaming - SonyLiv.

UK: TV - BBC One. Live streaming - BBC iPlayer.

Radio commentary - BBC Radio 5 Live, LCFC Radio.

USA: Fox Sports 1. Live streaming - Fox Sports Go.

Algeria: TV - beIN Sports Arabia 2 HD, beIN Sports Arabia 11 HD. Live streaming - beIN Sports Connect Arabia.

Live scores: Twitter.