Southampton return to St Mary’s in the Premier League as they host Leicester City on Saturday. This and more in this week’s Match Pack, in association with eToro…

Saints vs Leicester

Premier League

St Mary’s Stadium

Saturday 4 March, 5.30pm GMT

Referee: Robert Jones

Assistants: Ian Hussin, Wade Smith

Fourth official: Leigh Doughty

VAR: Tony Harrington

Assistant VAR: Richard West

The importance of Saturday’s clash cannot be understated as both teams look to secure their position in the Premier League for another season.

Saints sit bottom of the current league standings, with Leicester in 14th place but just three points clear of the drop as we edge into a pivotal part of the season.

Both sides suffered disappointing defeats to lower league opposition in the Emirates FA Cup in midweek and are no doubt eager to show a statement of intent in SO14 on Saturday.

Saints came out on top in the reverse fixture, despite James Maddison initially giving the Foxes the lead after 54 minutes, an impressive brace from Ché Adams ensured it was the visitors who secured all three points at the King Power Stadium.

Saints are boosted by the return of Ché Adams, who hasn’t feature in a Premier League match since the 1-0 defeat to Wolves at the beginning of February.

Tino Livramento remains the only long term absentee as Mohammed Salisu and Juan Larios near a return to full fitness.

The visitors will be without injured quartet Jonny Evans, James Justin, Youri Tielemans and former Saint Ryan Bertrand.

The return of James Maddison provides a huge boost for Brendan Rodgers’s side as they arrive on the south coast.

“They’ve gone back to basics and more experienced players have come in. I watched the Chelsea and Leeds games. When their tails are up, they can be a really good side. We have to run and be prepared for a physical battle.”

“I think they've been clear with their ideas. It's not only Leicester stats that are important. I expect both teams will be trying to win and trying to do what they can. It's going to be a really equal game and we want to take the moments.”

The Scot will be eager to replicate his impressive form in the reverse fixture back in August as he returns to the matchday squad at St Mary’s, with goals vital in Saints’ bid for survival.

Also returning from injury and a goal scorer in the reverse fixture, the England international remains top of the stats for both goals and assists for Leicester in an otherwise difficult season for Brendan Rodgers’s side.

Ché Adams 9

James Ward-Prowse 8

Romain Perraud 4

James Ward-Prowse 3

Adams, Perraud, Mara, Elyounoussi 2

James Maddison 9

Harvey Barnes 8

Kelechi Iheanacho 6

Maddison, Vardy 5

Kelechi Iheanacho 4

Barnes, Daka, Castagne 3

Played: 97

Leicester: 32

Draws: 30

Saints: 35

August 2022: Leicester 1-2 Saints (Adams)

May 2022: Leicester 4-1 Saints (Ward-Prowse)

December 2021: Saints 2-2 Leicester (Bednarek, Adams)

April 2021: Saints 1-1 Leicester (Ward-Prowse)

April 2021: Leicester 1-0 Saints

January 2021: Leicester 2-0 Saints

- Southampton are looking to complete the league double over Leicester for the first time since 2007-08 in the Championship, while they last did so as a top-flight club in 1986-87.

- Southampton have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season (24y 268d). They've given 5,388 minutes to players aged under 21, only doing so more in a single Premier League campaign in 1997-98 (5,609) and 2013-14 (6,627).

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