Southampton vs Leicester City Preview: Two underachievers look to revive their league form

Southampton vs Leicester City Preview: Two underachievers look to revive their league form

Southampton welcome champions Leicester City to St. Mary's, as both teams look to put poor league form behind them.

Aaron Stokes

It's a clash that could be described as a battle of the two biggest underachieving teams in the top flight this season, as Southampton face Leicester City in the first of three Premier League games this Sunday.

Both sides have recently progressed in the FA Cup but are struggling to put together good runs of form in the league.

Turning things around

Despite many neutrals being of the opinion Claudio Ranieri's men would not be able to retain their Premier League title, not many would have predicted that Leicester would be struggling around the relegation zone at this stage of the season. 

The Foxes have only won one of their last five league games but did beat Everton in the FA Cup two weeks ago.

Southampton are also sitting in the bottom half and Claude Puel isn't fairing as well as his predecessors on the South Coast. 

The Saints needed a late Shane Long goal on his 100th appearance to see off Norwich City in their FA Cup replay and haven't won in the league in over a month. 

However, both sides will see this as a good chance to get their league fortunes back on track.

Team news

Puel will be without central midfielder Steven Davis but Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand are likely to be back after missing the win over Norwich.

Pierre Emile Hojbjerg is likely to also return.

Leicester will be without Riyad Mahrez, Daniel Amartey and Islam Slimani, who are all taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations, while Leonardo Ulloa is ruled out with a thigh injury. The player is also apparently seeking a move away from the King Power.

Ranieri is likely to return to four at the back. 

History of the tie

The recent meetings between these two sides have mostly went Leicester's way, as Southampton have only won one of the last seven clashes. The Saints have failed to beat their opponents in the last four ties.

However, Southampton have been more successful in this fixture overall, winning 31 games, while Leicester have only tasted victory 25 times. 

The last time these sides met was in October, the game ended 0-0.