Two sides in contrasting form face off at St Mary’s Stadium on Friday evening as Southampton host Leicester City in the opening Premier League game of the weekend.
The Saints have lost three games in a row in all competitions and are 15th in the table, while the Foxes are flying high in third place.
Leicester’s run of victories started with a 1-0 win over Southampton at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals less than two weeks ago, with Kelechi Iheanacho settling the contest.
Iheanacho was again the hero for City on Monday night with a bullet strike late on to earn a 2-1 comeback win against Crystal Palace – the Nigerian’s 14th goal in as many matches.
That win for Leicester, following a 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion a few days on from their cup semi-final triumph, leaves them sitting nicely in third place.
Brendan Rodgers’s side may have collapsed towards the end of last season, but they have won four of their last six in the league and have a seven-point gap on fifth place.
The Foxes’ away form has been a little more mixed, it must be said, having won three of their last seven on their travels, most recently losing 3-2 to West Ham United.
Leicester’s most recent trip to St Mary’s in October 2019 lives fresh in the memory, though, as they netted nine unanswered goals to equal the Premier League’s record winning margin.
Southampton fans are tired of being reminded of that evening, and indeed their 9-0 loss to Manchester United in February, so they have more than one reason to exact revenge here.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side enter this game in bad form, however, with league losses to West Brom and Tottenham Hotspur either side of their Wembley defeat.
Danny Ings gave Southampton the lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week, only for Gareth Bale to equalise and Son Heung-min to convert a penalty in the final minute.
The Saints did pick up a 3-2 win against Burnley in their most recent home match, but that is their only three-point haul in six attempts at St Mary’s.
Southampton should be assured of Premier League football next season with a nine-point gap on 18th-placed Fulham, but one more win is required if they are to make certain of that.
Southampton Premier League form:
Southampton form (all competitions):
Leicester City Premier League form:
Leicester City form (all competitions):