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Leicester v Southampton match build up

Leicester v Southampton

TEAM NEWS

Jonny Evans faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a broken toe. Southampton are without three strikers: Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi have hamstring injuries, while Charlie Austin begins a two-match ban.

Winger Harvey Barnes could be involved for Leicester after being recalled from a successful loan spell at West Brom.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg continues his four-match suspension, Ryan Bertrand is out with a back problem and Maya Yoshida is away on international duty.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Mark_Scott_: It has only been three weeks since those impressive wins for Leicester over Manchester City and Chelsea, but Claude Puel’s team selection for their FA Cup defeat at Newport has left the Foxes boss in the spotlight once again.

Reaching a cup final and finishing eighth in the Premier League wasn’t enough for his former employers. A year and a half on from parting company with Puel, Southampton’s current aim is to climb out of the bottom three.

Leicester v Southampton

Despite dropping into the relegation zone last week, the Saints will be feeling optimistic given both their improved performances under Ralph Hasenhüttl and a return of seven points from his six league games in charge – with three of those matches coming against teams in the top five.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Leicester manager Claude Puel: “Our [FA Cup] elimination against Newport doesn’t change our ambition in the Premier League. We are seventh in this moment, but we know the difficulties we have now to maintain this ranking.

“We have to keep momentum to stay in the top half of the table and we’ll see in which position we can finish. We have lots of teams ready to compete with us and with the same objective.”

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl: “We are looking to bring someone in this transfer period, but it is not easy because in winter you must find a guy who not only for a short time makes us better, but also for long term.

“It is better to make it as soon as possible, but it is not so easy in the winter break. We don’t want to be hurried. “We will take time, think about it and if you are 100% sure this guy makes us better, then take the decision, not earlier.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

On paper, Southampton’s form has dropped off a bit with one point from their past three games. They worry me a little bit, because their squad needs some strengthening, but new Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has got something about him, which helps, and I think they will be all right.

Prediction: 2-0

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Leicester have won two of the past three Premier League meetings, and also beat Southampton on penalties in the League Cup in November.
  • Saints have failed to win any of their last five league visits to Leicester (D2, L3).
  • The last three meetings in all competitions at the King Power Stadium have ended 0-0.

Leicester City

  • Leicester have won three of their last four Premier League matches.
  • However, they have lost two of their last three at home, failing to score in both defeats.
  • The Foxes have earned 14 points at the King Power Stadium this season, three fewer than they have picked up away from home.
  • Leicester have won 12 points from losing positions this season, the joint-highest tally in the Premier League.
  • Jamie Vardy has been involved in five of Leicester’s last eight Premier League goals (four goals, one assist), earning seven points for the Foxes.

Southampton

  • Southampton have lost two of their last three Premier League matches, drawing the other.
  • Saints have earned four points from their last two league away games, as many as they had in their previous nine attempts.
  • However, they have lost 15 points from winning positions this season, more than any other side in the Premier League.
  • They have used 26 different players in the Premier League this season, the joint-highest total in the division. They used 26 different players in each of the previous three Premier League campaigns.

Source: BBC News