Can Defending Champions Leicester Kick-start Their Season with a Win?
Last updated: September 26, 2016 by John Kettle
|Venue:||The King Power Stadium|
|Last season:||Southampton 2 – 2 Leicester|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
This weekend’s mid-table clash at the King Power Stadium is set to be a fascinating match up. Both teams have made a pretty mediocre start to the 2016/2017 Premier League season and will be eager to get a solid victory under their belts. Last season’s champions Leicester in particular haven’t quite kicked things off in the way they would have been hoping for. This time last season they were undefeated; they’d held both Manchester Utd and Chelsea to 1-1 draws away from home and thrashed Swansea 4-0 at the King Power in what was an impressive attacking display. This year things are a little different. So far they’ve only managed two victories and they’ve lost all of their games away from home. Sunderland however are in a slightly better position. They too have only recorded two victories in this seasons’ Premier League campaign, however both have come in the last two weekends, so they will surely have a bit of a spring in their step as they take the field this Sunday afternoon.
Leicester’s main problem this season has been their defence. They conceded four goals in a single half at Old Trafford last weekend, three of which came from corners. They were also outplayed by Liverpool at Anfield two weeks ago when they went down 4-1 in what was an outstanding attacking performance from The Reds, however the ease at which they were able to pass Leicester off the pitch will be an area of concern for Claudio Ranieri. Last season The Foxes conceded just 36 goals in 38 games. If they can re-establish this kind of command in defense and get Jamie Vardy firing again up front they’ll start to look more like the defending Premier League champions.
Despite not having the brightest of starts in the Premier League, Leicester became the first English club to win their opening two Champions League games earier this week as they just slid past FC Porto thanks to a first half header from Islam Slimani.
After suffering an ankle injury against Arsenal, there are question marks around the fitness of Mendy Lei ahead of this weekend’s fixture. He was originally due back on the 2nd of October, however he will probabaly have to undergo a fitness test later this week before he’s declared fit to play.
Southampton skipper Jose Fonte has recently been in talks with Manchester Utd regarding a January move. Whilst the defender has stated that they’ve only had informal talks, alleged rumors say that Southampton are trying to keep their man where he is on a £70,000-a-week deal.
It has been confirmed that Southampton defender Jeremny Pied will need surgery after suffering a knee injury during training. Although we still don’t know the exact severity of the damage, it’s sure that the French will be out of action for the coming months.
|Leicester 4-4-2:||Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Hutch, Fuchs, Mahrez, Amartey, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Slimani, Vardy|
|Subs:||Hernandez, King, Hamer, Schlupp, Okazaki, Gray, Ulloa|
|Southampton (4-2-3-1):||Forster, Soares, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Davies, Tadic, Austin, Redmond|
|Subs:||Randolph, Feghouli, Oblang, Byram, Fletcher, Fernandes, Oxford|
|Injured:||Pied, Rodriguez, Boufal|
So far this season
|Leicester this season||Southampton this season|
|2 (2)||(at home) Wins (away)||2 (1)|
|3-0 vs. Burnley||Biggest win||3-0 vs. West Ham|
|1 (1)||(at home) Draws (away)||2 (2)|
|4-1 vs. Man Utd||Biggest Defeat||2-0 vs. Man Utd||Islam Slimani (2)||Top scorer||Charlie Austin (2)|
|Daniel Amartey (1)||Assist Leader||Charlie Austin (1)|
|Y9, R0||Discipline||Y11, R0|
|1||Failures to score||1|
|4||Both Teams to Score Games||3|
|5||Over 2.5 Games||2|
|1||Under 2.5 Games||4|
- Neither side has been particularly impressive in front of goal this season. Leicester have managed eight goals from their six Premier League matches while Southampton have only managed seven.
- Both sides’ biggest defeat in the 2016-2017 season has been against Manchester Utd, Leicester 4-1 and Southampton 2-0.
- Both teams’ biggest recorded victory this season has had the same score line. Leicester hit the back of the net three times against Burnley; Southampton managed the same against a struggling West Ham last weekend.
- Charlie Austin (Leicester’s top scorer) has scored 5 goals in all competitions so far this season. Ranieri will be surely be looking to get him in the game as much as possible and add to his goal tally.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|03/04/2016||Premier League||Leicester 1 – 0 Southampton||Wes Morgan 38′|
|17/10/2015||Premier League||Southampton 2 – 2 Leicester||Jose Fonte 21′|
|09/05/2015||Premier League||Leicester 2 – 0 Southampton||R. Mahrez 7′|
|08/11/2014||Premier League||Southampton 2 – 0 Leicester||S. Long 75′|
|23/01/2012||Championship||Southampton 0 – 2 Leicester||D. Nugent 15′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
This one is sure to be an extremely close match-up. Southampton are probably the more in-form at the moment; they’ve won their last two matches both at home and away and their last performance was a convincing 3-0 display at West Ham’s new stadium. However, to write off the defending champions right away would be a mistake. History has proven that they’re a tough nut to crack at home, and if they do manage to find their feet they’ll be as tricky an opponent as any. The bookmakers however have Leicester down as favourites at the moment and are currently showing some good value prices for Southampton to win. We suggest heading over to betway and laying a cheeky bet in favour of The Saints – current prices are 12/5.