Last year it was ‘piegate’ but, this season, Chris Neal is hoping to have a ‘pizza the action’ and fuel an FA Cup third round upset as Town host Premier League side Leicester City.
There is no incentive needed for Neal to keep a clean sheet – but the promise of a post-match bonus of a year’s supply of free pizza if he does not concede is not a raw deal.
Pizza chain Papa John’s has promised Neal the deal if he doesn’t concede within 90 minutes and he will receive one month’s worth of pizza for every seven-and-a-half minutes he keeps a clean sheet on Saturday.
Papa John’s are sponsoring the League One underdogs for the one-off game as the eyes of the world turn on Highbury on Saturday lunchtime.
The third round clash will be televised live on BBC One with Neal, who has only just returned to the first team after usurping Alex Cairns for Town’s 2-1 Boxing Day win at Oldham, preparing to stop some of the most talented players in the country.
One of those might be ex-Town hero Jamie Vardy who is hoping to shake off a groin injury and play against the club he fired up to League Two before his £1m move to the Foxes.
Town’s head of sports science Youl Mawene may not be laughing but Neal joked he might even share some of his pizza with Town’s forwards if they can grab the goals to fire the club into the fourth round for the first time in their history.
He said: “As a club, we’re really looking forward to the challenge of hosting a Premier League club at Highbury.
“It should be a great occasion for our fans and I’m hoping to do my bit for the team by keeping a clean sheet and earning myself some pizza in the process.
“I might even share a slice with one of our strikers if they manage to score at the other end!”
To celebrate Vardy’s return to the Highbury Stadium, Papa John’s is rewarding fans with a Vardy-inspired £9.99 nationwide large pizza deal (RRP £18.99) in the third-round cup week.