Southampton have had a mixed run of form recently, and haven’t really been able to string wins together like they were in the opening stages of the Premier League season. Leicester have won their past three ties, with one of them versus Southampton.
Brendan Rodgers’ side took all three points in the reverse fixture in what was a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Saints. Leicester will be looking for a similar outcome on Friday evening, as they look to take the points back to the East-Midlands.
Vavel takes a look at how both sides could line up at Saint Mary’s Stadium.
Star striker, Danny Ings, could be ruled out of this one for the Saints as he came off just before the 60th minute in Southampton’s narrow loss to Tottenham Hotspur. This will be a big blow for the Saints, with the Englishman being the one to pop up with a goal for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
It’s likely for Hasenhuttl to be tempted to play a back four against Leicester, sticking with a familiar 4-4-2 formation. In goal is expected to be the ever-present shot-stopper in Alex McCarthy. A back four of Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Jannik Vestergaard, and Jack Stephens is a likely backline for the Saints.
Moving into the midfield roles, Hasenhuttl has a few options in which he can play, especially on the flanks. In the middle of the park could be Ibrahima Diallo and James Ward-Prowse. On the wings, there are numerous options for Hasenhuttl with the likes of Theo Walcott, Nathan Tella, Stuart Armstrong, and Moussa Djenepo.
In the goal-scoring positions, it’s expected to be a strike partnership of Nathan Redmond and Che Adams. They both have a chance to prove themselves, in the event that Ings may be absent.
Southampton XI: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard Stephens; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Armstrong; Adams, Redmond.
The formation of 5-2-1-2 has worked in the favour of Rodgers as of recent. Kasper Schmeichel is almost certain to start in goal, making every appearance in the league so far this season. A back three of Wesley Fofana, Jonny Evans, and Caglar Soyuncu is expected with the trio working well together. Timothy Castagne is likely to take place on the right-hand side of the backline. Ricardo Pereira has been absent in the past two games but could be restored back into the side on Friday evening.
Sitting in front of the defence is expected to be the flourishing partnership of Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi. The pair have complemented each other this campaign, with Tielemans moving deeper alongside the Nigerian.
Ahead of the pair is likely to be creative midfielder, James Maddison, who is working his way back to full fitness.
Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu, Pereira; Ndidi, Tielemans; Maddison; Iheanacho, Vardy.
Leicester City will be the favourites to win the clash, but Southampton will still be hoping to make that difficult for the Foxes. The quality of Leicester could just get them over the line, and move them one step closer to their desired spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League.