Leicester City vs Southampton
Two in-form teams are set to clash this weekend in the Premier League, as the Foxes will host the visiting Saints at the King Power Stadium.
As of this writing, Leicester City are still holding the second spot at the table with 45 points and Manchester City is right behind them at 44 points, while Southampton have improved to the 12th spot at the table with 25 points.
The Foxes are fresh from a draw against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup, as they are fighting to move on to the Finals. Perhaps that’s a great consolation given that Liverpool looks to have the championship already in the bag.
The Saints, on the other hand, have always been constantly flirting with relegation for these past few years. Normally placed at around the 15th to 17th spot, it’s a refreshing sight to see them slowly improve in their standing.
They have won four out of their last five matches and they have also found their groove in the third round of the FA Cup with a win over Huddersfield.
The last time these two faced off in October, it was the Foxes who demoralised the Saints with a 9-0 clean sheet, and the latter would like to quickly erase such bad memory.
SBOTOP looks ahead and provides some talking points on this upcoming fixture.
Leicester City looking for reinforcements
The Foxes have regained their rhythm after going through a rough patch few weeks ago.
At the time, they uncharacteristically played poorly in their 1-1 draw against one of the league’s bottom feeders in Norwich, and they lost via a 3-1 tally against the defending champions in Manchester City.
Jamie Vardy and James Maddison continue to flourish with their attacking partnership as they’ve recorded 23 goals and six assists this season so far while producing some of the best Premier League 2020 highlights.
But even with their success upfront, team manager Brendan Rodgers knows that there still work that needs to be done in order to further improve their roster.
The team had reportedly expressed their intention on acquiring a high-quality centre-back to improve their backline while at the same time, they’re finding a long-term successor to Jamie Vardy. Several sources indicate that the Foxes had shown interest to the likes of Merih Demiral and Odsonne Edouard.
However, they’re not alone in their pursuit for Demiral as Arsenal joined in the fray, as the two sides have been making their bids in order to acquire the Turkey national. On the other hand, Leicester will bide their time to possibly sign Edouard for a £30-M deal during the summer.
Brendan Rodgers will probably stick to what he’s got as of the moment. But we can expect the Foxes to be very busy as the transfer window is upon us.
Southampton’s faith in Ralph Hasenhüttl paying off
Southampton had been underwhelming to say the least over these past few seasons. But after a grim December, things have been slowly getting better for the Hampshire-based club.
They almost sank to the relegation zone when they lost against West Ham with a 1-0 score in a game that they could scarcely afford to lose.
Fans over at St. Mary’s Stadium could’ve pushed by Ralph Hasenhüttl ‘s exit but they didn’t, and their patience has been repaid by the superb play of their wards.
The Saints didn’t bow to pressure since then with quality wins against the likes of Aston Villa, Chelsea, and Tottenham. In those games, Southampton averaged 2.0 goals per game in those matches.
Danny Ings continues his strong campaign as he is the league’s second-leading scorer with 13 goals and one assist. However, he may need to draw more production from his teammates such as James Ward-Prowse and Moussa Djenepo.
Nonetheless, Hasenhüttl looks to be the right man for the job and this club’s future is looking bright.
As mentioned, Leicester City earned their biggest win in English top-flight history when they annihilated Southampton few months ago. Capped off by Jamie Vardy’s hat-trick, the Foxes scored a 9-0 win over the Saints.
Southampton, however, has improved since then. They have conceded only 13 goals in their last 11 Premier League matches. They have also collected 16 points from their eight previous Premier League matches too.
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