Friday, March 24, 2017

Prediction: Leicester vs Southampton


Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: bet365

Buoyed by the second successive Champions League triumph, Leicester City will attempt to get their Premier League campaign back on track after the 4-1 loss to Manchester City. The Saints extended the excellent run of results by hammering West Ham at the Olympic Stadium in London, and they will fancy their chances against the league holders.

Leicester City

Leicester City were always going to have a tough task of repeating last year’s Premier League success, and it looks as though the Foxes will not be able to mount a serious title challenge this season. However, Claudio Ranieri’s men are clearly relishing their maiden Champions League campaign and they are already close to securing their place in the knockout stages. The big win at Club Brugge was followed by 1-0 triumph over very good FC Porto side, with summer recruit Islam Slimani again proving his worth. The Algerian forward has established a very good partnership with both Jamie Vardy and international teammate Riyad Mahrez, and the fact he can also operate as a second striker makes him a valuable member of the team. After his side conceded eight goals in last two matches on domestic stage, Claudio Ranieri must have been delighted with the clean sheet against FC Porto and he will definitely want another one of those when his charges face in-form Southampton. The good news is that his men will have had plenty of time to recover from the midweek fixture, meaning they should be in pretty good shape on Sunday afternoon.

Team News

Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel returned into action against FC Porto and he should keep his place in the side for the Southampton game.

Matty James and Nampalys Mendy remain sidelined, while Danny Simpson could be recalled and Demarai Gray is bound to play a part.

Southampton

Given some important changes to the playing squad and the arrival of Claude Puel, we cannot say that Southampton’s slow start was a surprise, but the most important thing is that the Saints quickly recovered from a four-match winless run. The 3-0 Europa League win over Sparta Prague proved the turning point as the team went on to win another three fixtures before they shared spoils with Hapoel Be’er Sheva in midweek. Southampton recorded back to back Premier League wins over Swansea City and West Ham, thus climbing to top half of the standings, and they head to King Power Stadium brimming with confidence. While their four-match winning run ended in midweek, the Saints kept yet another clean sheet, meaning they haven’t conceded a single goal in last five fixtures, which is definitely an amazing achievement. After losing to both Manchester United and Arsenal on the road, Southampton recorded a 3-0 triumph over West Ham before sharing spoils with the Israeli champions, so we can safely say their away performances have improved.

Team News

The likes of Dusan Tadic, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, Charlie Austin and Steven Davis will all be recalled after they were rested in midweek.

Jay Rodriguez faces a fitness test as he battles a groin problem, but Sofiane Boufal and Jeremy Pied are certain to miss out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Leicester won last three home games vs Southampton
  • Under 2.5 goals were scored in four of their last five meetings
  • Leicester recorded a 1-0 win in the same fixture last season
  • Southampton kept five successive clean sheets on all fronts
  • The Foxes conceded one goal in three home games in EPL this term

Conclusion

Having conceded so many goals of late, Leicester City will be eager to keep second successive clean sheet, and given that Southampton did not concede a single goal in last five, we definitely expect to witness a low-scoring game at King Power Stadium.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: bet365

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