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Southampton vs Leicester City
St Mary’s Stadium
Saturday 25th August
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Andy Halliday
Fourth official: David Coote
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Saints head into the game looking for their first victory of the season, following a point at home to Burnley and a narrow defeat at Everton, as they come up against their former manager, Claude Puel.
Three points would see Southampton climb above their opponents, who have enjoyed a steady start to the campaign.
Following a 2-1 defeat away to Manchester United to open the season, Leicester triumphed 2-0 at home to newly-promoted Wolves last weekend.
Leicester: The Foxes are without star striker Jamie Vardy for the game, after he was sent off in last weekend’s clash with Wolves. Striker Shinji Okazaki’s fitness is being assessed after returning to training from injury. Midfielder Matty James is definitely ruled out, though, while new signing Çaglar Söyüncü is a doubt, as the defender continues his recovery from injury.
Southampton: Mark Hughes looks to have a clean bill of health for the game. Centre-back Jannik Vestergaard is available again after missing the trip to Everton with illness, while Mohamed Elyounoussi is back in training following a knock and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
RESULTS SO FAR
Aug 12: Burnley (h) D 0-0
Aug 18: Everton (a) L 1-2 (Ings)
Aug 10: Manchester United (a) L 1-2 (Vardy)
Aug 18: Wolves (h) W 2-0 (Doherty og, Maddison)
Mark Hughes: “We reviewed the game against Everton and there were a few elements of our play that clearly we need to be better at. We made a couple of lapses that we need to avoid, in terms of the goals we conceded, but there were good elements to our play in certain periods. Maybe not on a consistent level for long enough, and we need to make sure we're pulling together a 90-minute performance from now on in.”
Claude Puel: “Jamie [Vardy] is not a player, who participates a lot with the play but is always dangerous. He is always available and difficult to mark. [Kelechi] Iheanacho and [Shinji] Okazaki are different. I think we can give a good response.”
Southampton will be hoping Danny Ings’s goal on his full debut at Everton will be the start of a rich run of form for the club’s newest signing. With bright performances from Nathan Redmond in the opening two games as well, Mark Hughes will also be hopeful of seeing some good service continue in attack.
Leicester have plenty of threat in their team, even without the suspended Jamie Vardy, and new signing Ricardo Pereira has really caught the eye in his opening two appearances. The pace and threat of the marauding full-back has caused both Manchester United and Wolves problems so far this season, and he is someone who will likely need to be watched closely.
This will be the 87th meeting between the sides, and there hasn’t been much to separate them throughout the history of the fixture…
Previous five meetings:
April 2018: Leicester 0-0 Southampton
December 2017: Southampton 1-4 Leicester (Yoshida)
January 2017: Southampton 3-0 Leicester (Ward-Prowse, Rodriguez, Tadić pen)
October 2016: Leicester 0-0 Southampton
April 2016: Leicester 1-0 Southampton
DID YOU KNOW?
• Leicester have never won back-to-back away league matches at Southampton – this is their 40th visit.
• Danny Ings is looking to become only the fourth player to score in his first two Premier League starts for Southampton, after Ronnie Ekelund, Peter Crouch and Manolo Gabbiadini.
• Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho has scored more Premier League goals against Southampton than against any other side (three in four appearances).
NOT AT THE GAME?
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