Match Preview: Saints vs Leicester City

By SFC Media time Tue 12 Dec Saints v Leicester

Check out our match preview as Saints prepare for the return of Claude Puel when they meet Leicester City at St Mary's.

THE MATCH

Southampton vs Leicester City
Wednesday 13th December, 7:45pm GMT
St Mary’s
Premier League

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

With both club's having endured a slow start to the season, recent form suggests that Wednesday evening's Premier League clash between Saints and Leicester may well provide an upturn in entertainment value, not least because both side's have upped their conversion rates of late.

The visitors are on a three-match winning streak, while Mauricio Pellegrino's men have turned in a series of confidence boosting performances against Everton, Man City and most recently Arsenal.

Under Claude Puel, the Foxes have made a strong revival and look to be edging back towards their level best, following successive wins over Tottenham, Burnley and Newcastle.

But while Leicester look a tough proposition, Saints frontman Charlie Austin is in red hot form of his own, having scored eight goals in his last 11 Premier League starts, including four in his last three games.

The Foxes enter the tie in eighth, while Saints are close on their opposition's coat-tails, five points further adrift.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Southampton’s Charlie Austin celebrates during the Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Charlie Austin nets the opener against Arsenal last time out

TEAM NEWS

Southampton: A late call may be made on fullback Cédric, after a hamstring problem has kept him out of action for two weeks. 

Leicester City: Shinji Okazaki is again available after he came off the bench to inspire Sunday's last ditch win at Newcastle.

Robert Huth (ankle) and Matty James (Achilles) remain sidelined.

FORM GUIDE

Southampton's previous five:

Arsenal (h) D 1-1
AFC Bournemouth (a) D 1-1
Manchester City (a) L 2-1
Everton (h) W 4-1
Liverpool (a) L 3-0

Leicester's previous five:

Newcastle (a) W 3-2
Burnley (h) W 1-0
Tottenham (h) W 2-1
West Ham (a) D 1-1
Man City (h) L 2-0

TOP PERFORMERS

Charlie Austin
Attack stats
goalGoals
7
Total shots
40
Shots on target
25
Conversion rate
17%
Mins per goal
147
See all statschevron right

Man of the moment Charlie Austin stole the headlines yet again last time out, netting his fifth of the campaign. 

Dušan Tadić also provided his 26th Premier League assist during Sunday's Arsenal stalemate - only Matt Le Tissier (64) has more for Saints in the competition.

The two forwards combined for the game's opener, and will be looking to replicate that productive partnership as Saints host in-form Leicester. 

Top scorers: Charlie Austin (5), Steven Davis (3), Manolo Gabbiadini (3)
Most assists: Nathan Redmond (3), Ryan Bertrand (2), Dušan Tadić (2)

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Southampton’s Dusan Tadic passes to assist Charlie Austin to open the scoring during the Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints architect Dušan Tadić, masterminding the opening for Austin against Arsenal 

Predictably, co-stars Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are among Leicester's most prolific contributors this term.

The England international has constantly topped the club's scoring charts since the groundbreaking season of 2015/16, while Mahrez' quality and flair are beginning to resurface under Claude Puel.

Top scorers: Jamie Vardy (7), Riyad Mahrez (4), Shinji Okazaki (4)
Most assists: Riyad Mahrez (4), Marc Albrighton (3), Harry Maguire (3)

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

All-time record:

Played: 84
Southampton: 32
Draws: 27
Leicester City: 25

Previous four meetings:

Jan 2017: Southampton 3-0 Leicester
Oct 2016: Leicester 0-0 Southampton
April 2016: Leicester 1-0 Southampton
Oct 2016: Southampton 2-2 Leicester

DID YOU KNOW?

- Southampton have lost just one of their 11 Premier League home games against Leicester (W5 D5), with that loss coming at the Dell in April 2000 (1-2).

- Leicester City’s only win at St Mary’s in any competition was in a Championship game in January 2012 (2-0).

NOT AT THE GAME?

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to St Mary’s! Our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will have all the build-up, as well as in-game updates and free live audio commentary.

Additionally, be sure to follow us on our various social channels for behind-the-scenes access and further updates:

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