Prediction: Leicester City to win 1-0
Southampton will be aiming to get out of the relegation zone on Saturday afternoon as they take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s troops have enjoyed a few positive results in the past few weeks and will be looking to continue their recovery against a Foxes side that are still reeling from a shock FA Cup exit last weekend.
The emotions at the King Power Stadium under Claude Puel have been fluctuating all season, none more so than in the past few weeks. Leicester have notched some excellent results having beaten Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton. However, they did also lose to Cardiff City at the King Power Stadium, whilst they suffered a humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of fourth tier Newport County last weekend. Their form has also been relatively inconsistent on home turf having only won two out of their last seven games and only managing to score six goals in that time. Although, the East Midlanders have not lost consecutive home games in the Premier League since September 2017 which does bode well against Southampton. Before the loss to Cardiff, the only teams to walk away from the King Power Stadium with maximum points were Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Liverpool.
There have already been a few departures from the club during the transfer window; Vicente Iborra has left on a permanent deal to Villareal whilst Fousseni Diabate has joined Sivasspor on a loan deal until the end of the season. The only injury that the Foxes have to contend with is Daniel Amartey who is still out until at least March with a broken ankle. Jonny Evans is also out with a broken toe. However, Harvey Barnes could be named in the matchday squad after he was recalled from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.
Whilst the Saints still languish in the relegation zone ahead of their trip to Leicester, Hasenhuttl has already had an impact at St Marys. He won his first two Premier League games – the first time that the team had won consecutive league games since April 2017. Since then, the Saints have claimed a morale-boosting draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and fallen to defeats to Manchester City and West Ham United. The South Coast club were also taken to a replay by Championship side Derby County in the FA Cup last weekend.
Their problem this season really has been getting victories over the line in the Premier League. The Saints have already drawn seven league games so far this season, more than any other club. Should they begin to turn some of those stalemates into victories, they will be out of trouble sooner rather than later.
The Saints have a real problem in their offensive positions for the match. Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi are both ruled out through injury, whilst fellow striker Charlie Austin is banned for two matches. Manolo Gabbiadini also looks close to a move away from the club. There are also other concerns with Ryan Bertrand ruled out with injury, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sidelined through suspension and Maya Yoshida away on international duty. Mario Lemina is also ruled out with an abdominal injury. However, Stuart Armstrong could potentially return.
Key Facts To Consider
- The Saints posses a marginally better record between the two teams (W32, D28, L28)
- The two teams have already met twice this season in both the Premier League and Carabao Cup with the Foxes claiming victory in both
- The last Premier League match between the two at the King Power Stadium ended 0-0
- There has been an average of 2.75 goals scored per game between the two in Premier League games on Leicester soil
- Leicester’s defensive record in the Premier League is only bettered by four sides; Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur
This game would be targeted by Southampton as one that they are looking to earn something out of, whilst once again it is important that Leicester get a positive result for the sake of Claude Puel’s job. However, it will surely not be a game blessed with goals thanks to the Saints’ lack of attacking options and Leicester’s steely backline. A slim win for the hosts could be a clever bet.
Prediction: Leicester City to win 1-0
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