Preview: Southampton vs. Leicester City

Preview: Southampton vs. Leicester City

Southampton and Leicester City square off in the Championship on Friday evening having both suffered surprise defeats last time out.

On the same day that the Saints were thrashed by Sunderland, the Foxes went down at home to Hull City, leaving the clubs in seventh and third place in the table respectively

Having come through a transitional period with 10 points from four matches, Russell Martin would have been delighted with the start that had been made by his Southampton side.

However, much of the positivity from the opening weeks of the season was lost as Southampton shockingly suffered a 5-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

While seven goals conceded from their first four fixtures suggested that defence was not their forte, the manner in which they succumbed to the Black Cats will concern Martin.

The acquisition of Taylor Harwood-Bellis could prove to be a difference maker in time, yet Martin will not want to heap too much pressure on his shoulders when Southampton as a team need to improve at the back.

On a positive note for the South-coast outfit, they remain in seventh place and have the opportunity to move ahead of their upcoming opponents in the standings.

Like Southampton, Leicester cannot claim to have been convincing during the early weeks of the season under new head coach Enzo Maresca.

Nevertheless, six successive wins – all without scoring more than twice in a single game – were registered before they hosted Hull before the international break.

Even when going a goal behind during the early stages, Maresca and his Foxes players would have expected to overturn the scoreline, yet it was the Tigers who impressively held out for maximum points.

Although Leicester remain just a point off top spot, succumbing to Hull served as a reminder that they cannot afford to assume that they will earn an immediate return to the Premier League without matching their quality with consistency.

Southampton Championship form:

Southampton form (all competitions):

Leicester City Championship form:

Leicester City form (all competitions):

We say: Southampton 1-1 Leicester City
Given how they fared last time out, we are expecting a much tighter affair, one which may benefit the visitors more so than the hosts. Nevertheless, the Saints can only have benefitted from some time on the training pitch after the recent upheaval, leaving us to predict a hard-fought share of the spoils.

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