Southampton will travel to the King Power stadium to take on against Leicester City, as they seek revenge after the horrific defeat in the reverse fixture.
Premier League action resumes for Matchday 22 as second-placed Leicester City host a rejuvenated Southampton side at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Foxes have recovered well after their 0-4 thumping against Liverpool with wins against West Ham and Newcastle United and will look to continue that form against Southampton at home. Brendan Rodgers has invigorated a sense of never die attitude in the whole Leicester City side and the results are clearly showing the difference this season.
Southampton were in a slumber early in the season but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have turned it around as the campaign has progressed. The Saints are unbeaten in the last five matches in all competitions and in that period they have beaten teams like Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
It was a historic event when both these two sides met at the Saint Marys stadium last year in October, with Leicester City simply outplaying the hosts and winning the match by a mammoth 9-0 scoreline. Ahead of this clash, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both sides.
Tactics & Team News
Rodgers does not have fresh injury concerns but the Leicester manager will be without the services of Wilfried Ndidi, captain Wes Morgan and Daniel Amartey as all of them are sidelined with injuries.
The former Celtic manager may again field a three-man defence, with Ricardo Perreira and Ben Chilwell are likely to play as wingbacks. Kasper Schmeichel has been the mainstay for the Foxes under the bar and it is likely to stay that way with the three-man defence comprising of Johnny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu and Christian Fuchs.
In midfield, Ndidi’s absence can be a factor and therefore Youri Tielemans may start in a more defensive role. James Maddison and Dennis Praet will play in more advanced roles. It is likely to be a midfield battle between the two sides and the onus will be on someone like Maddison to supply the ball ahead to Jamie Vardy.
Vardy is supposed to return and lead the line for Leicester while Spanish forward Ayoze Perez will be partnering him in the Foxes’ attack.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Schmeichel; Soyuncu, Evans, Fuchs; Pereira, Tielemans, Praet, Maddison, Chilwell; Perez, Vardy
Apart from Yan Valery, who is a long-term absentee, Ralph Hasenhuttl has no major injury concerns ahead of this clash. The Saints may continue to play with a four-man backline with Alex McCarthy continuing his fine form between the sticks after securing clean sheets against top sides like Chelsea and Tottenham.
In defence, Jack Stephens is set to partner Jan Bednarek with Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand remaining constants in the full-back positions for the Saints. James Ward-Prowse will provide the creativity whereas Pierre-Emile Højbjerg will provide more stability in the middle of the park.
Meanwhile, Stuart Armstrong will look to continue his fine form on the right flank along with Moussa Djenepo on the left. English forward Danny Ings who is in red hot form is likely to lead the line against Leicester City and form a formidable partnership with compatriot Nathan Redmond in the attack.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2) McCarthy; Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Højbjerg, Djenepo; Ings, Redmond
- Leicester City’s 9-0 win over Southampton in the reverse fixture is the biggest away win in English top-flight football history. However, the last time they did the double over the Saints was way back in 1999-2000 season.
- After the 9-0 loss to Leicester, Southampton have reacted strongly and have only conceded 13 goals in the next 11 matches. In this period of time only Liverpool (7) and Leicester City (11) have conceded less in the Premier League.
- The record of most goals scored against an opponent in a single Premier League season is 12. Blackburn did it against Nottingham Forrest back in 1995-96, while Tottenham also did it over Wigan Athletic more recently in the 2009-10 season.
- While this is going to be a clash of two teams, this game will also feature the top two strikers in the Premier League Golden Boot charts – Jamie Vardy (17) and Danny Ings (13).
Player to Watch
Both teams have enough firepower in their tank to change the course of the match at any point in time. However, Leicester City have been reliant on James Maddison especially on the creative side of things. With him returning to the fore, it will be difficult to take your eyes off him in midfield.
While the Foxes have had Jamie Vardy doing the bulk of scoring, they have had to rely on someone like Maddison who has established himself as the creative nucleus of Brendan Rodgers’ side. The 23-year old has created more chances than any other Leicester City player in the Premier League this season.
Leicester City 2-1 Southampton
Southampton have bounced back really well after a horrific start to their season, and are currently in good form, showing signs of having found their mojo back. But, they have to be formidable against Leicester City to even take a point back home. But, with Ings in great form, the Saints may have an outside chance on Saturday.
It will be a tight match with Ralph Hassenhuttl’s men looking to hit back after their 9-0 defeat against Leicester City in the reverse fixture. However, considering how impressive Leicester have been, the Hard Tackle is predicting a narrow win for the Foxes consolidating their position in the table behind leaders Liverpool.