|English Premier League 2015-16|
Saturday, 17 October 2015 at 15:00 GMT / 16:00 UK / 20:30 IST
St.Mary's Stadium, Southampton, United Kingdom
The English Premier League 15/16 season has undoubtedly seen Leicester City spring a few surprises after 8 games and the form of Riyed Mahrez and Jamie Vardy has even seen the latter called up to the England set up for their qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania. Ronald Koeman's side have shown in glimpses their form of last year that earned them a Europa League spot but they've just managed back-to-back victories for the first time since January with consecutive 3-1 victories over Swansea City and Chelsea.
Claudio Ranieri's appointment at Leicester was laughed by many including ex-Leicester City forward, Gary Linekar who was very opinionated on his selection on social media. The 'Tinkerman' however has proven many doubters wrong and has had a sensational start back in the Premier League after over a decade away from England's top tier after getting the chop at Chelsea. It is up for debate whether Ranieri deserves the credit for their form or if ex-manager Nigel Pearson is the man responsible for Leicester's change in fortunes as their stunning run at the end of last season that saw them win 7 of their last 9 league matches to earn survival. The players have simply continued their impressive run through pre-season and only the 5-2 defeat at home to Arsenal was their first loss in all competitions in 5 months.
Ronald Koeman endured a very cagey start to the 15/16 campaign but 3 wins on the bounce has boosted morale significantly in the camp. Their most recent victory at Stamford Bridge epitomizes the confidence oozing through the side and they've scored 14 goals in their last 4 matches in all competitions. Koeman will be extremely disappointed after all last year's hard work getting into the Europa League was abruptly ended at the final qualifying stage with an aggregate defeat to Danish side, FC Midtjylland.
There are some interesting statistics when these two sides meet at St.Mary's Stadium. The last 7 meetings at this ground have seen one of the sides keep a clean sheet whilst the 2-0 score line has occurred 5 times. In all 25 matches between Southampton and Leicester City at St.Mary's Southampton have lost just 3 times so Ranieri will have it all to do if he wants to replicate the efforts in 1967, 2000 and 2012 where Leicester travelled back to the Midlands with all 3 points in the bag.
Ranieri made the bold decision to drop Mahrez from his starting 11 after the 5-2 defeat to Arsenal and they bounced back with a 2-1 win at Norwich City. The Italian could elect to field the same line up as they have no new fresh injury concerns with Nathan Dyer and Matty James still out through injury.
Jordy Clasie has stepped up his efforts to return from an ankle injury for Southampton which has delayed his debut since signing from Feyenoord in the summer. Fraser Forster still faces a long period on the sidelines with a knee injury whilst no return date has been set for Floran Gardos.
Stats: W-3 L-2 D-3
Recent Form - DLWWW
Stats: W-4 L-1 D-3
Recent Form - WDWLW
Southampton (4-3-3) - Stekelenburg, Jose Fonte, Bertrand, Soares, Van Dijk, S.Davis, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Mane, Pelle.
Leicester City (4-4-2) - Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Albrighton, Drinkwater, Kante, Schlupp, Okazaki, Vardy.
Injury List/Suspended Players
Southampton - Clasie (inj), Forster (inj), Gardos (inj)
Leicester City - Dyer (inj), James (inj).
Southampton v Leicester City Match Prediction
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