Mark Hughes’ struggling Southampton side travel to the King Power Stadium this Thursday evening as this Premier League season draws ever nearer to a close.
The Foxes will be looking to recover from back-to-back defeats at the hands of Newcastle and Burnley. Likewise, the visiting Saints will be desperate for a result as their safety to remain in the Premier League looks in doubt. Southampton currently sit in 18th position and a total of five points away from safety after a bad run that has seen them win only one game in 2018.
The two teams met in the same tie towards the beginning of the 2011-2012 Championship campaign. The hosts, big spending Leicester under manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, were billed as the early favourites for the season. Meanwhile, newly-promoted Southampton had made an excellent start to life in the Championship winning their opening four matches under manager Nigel Adkins.
In a five-goal thriller, including an early goal for Darius Vassell and an own goal from Saints favourite Rickie Lambert, the match was certainly one to remember.
Leicester take the lead early on
The Foxes had made ten changes to the side that had dispatched Bury earlier on in the week in the Carling Cup, with the only player retaining his place being captain Matt Mills.
Eriksson’s men were rampant early on finding a goal within three minutes. Welshman Andy King was gifted with space and time on the left hand side and beautifully whipped in a cross to the fast feet of Darius Vassell who was able to simply nudge the ball past Saints shot-stopper Kelvin Davies.
There could have been another soon after following a Neil Danns corner which was met by the head of Mills who fired the ball towards the goal, only for it to parred away by the keeper.
The lead was eventually increased in the 22nd minute when Jeffery Schlupp, who had replaced the injured David Nugent, was able to hold the ball up on the right hand side of the pitch to then tee-up midfielder Richie Wellens who superbly curled his effort in to the goal from 25-yards out.
Saints hit back but Leicester net again
Leicester seemed to be dominating the game until an effort, started and finished, by defender Dan Harding was headed in behind Kasper Schmeichel with help from a cross from Adam Lallana after he managed to skilfully get the better of Foxes defender Sol Bamba.
The home side continued their pressure right up until the half time whistle with efforts from Gelson Fernandes and a curling free-kick shot from left back Paul Konchesky.
The Southampton defence eventually buckled when Rickie Lambert headed the ball into his own net on the stroke of half-time after another Danns corner. Southampton protested, as it seemed as though the striker was pushed in the back by Bamba. The Referee waved the protests away and the teams went into the break with the home side leading 3-1.
Leicester hold on
It was the visitors who started the second half brighter with a fine effort by Lallana which was denied. The comeback looked on when former Foxes striker, David Connolly, turned the ball past Schmeichel with a diving header from a Lallana corner in the 53rd minute.
The Foxes defence remained resolute through most of the half to try and see the game out. Schmeichel was a hero in the final moments in the game after brilliantly denying Lambert and the Saints an equaliser from close range. The final whistle eventually came and the home side took the three points with the score at 3-2.