Southampton vs Leicester City Preview
Southampton welcome Premier League defending champions Leicester City to St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon, in a game that could be tough to call given both sides have struggled with consistency. The Saints are enduring a losing run of games in recent weeks and face a Leicester City side having also racked up defeats of late which could make for a nervy encounter between two clubs desperate to arrest the slide. Southampton played out a goalless draw with Leicester City in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and a stalemate might be on the cards again as neither club have looked convincing enough of late to threaten a form-busting victory. Claude Puel’s Southampton side started the season strong but have slipped down the table of late and are currently 13th in the division with 24 points from 21 games. The Saints have suffered four defeats on the bounce ahead of their clash with Leicester City, winning only one home game in the Premier League since November. Southampton have fallen short to opposition they’d consider their lesser in recent weeks, having lost to Hull City, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley, so Leicester City might be confident of at least competing. With such inconsistent home form from the South Coast side this season, it’s hard to predict how Southampton will fare. But goals are a big problem of late – having scored one or fewer goals in each of their last four games - so they may not pose much of a threat against Leicester. That being said, the visitors have problems of themselves. City are 15th in the Premier League table with 21 points from as many games, picking up just two wins in their last 12. The defending champions have a woeful away record too, suffering seven defeats from 10 games on the road, failing to win away from home all season. Leicester have conceded 21 goals on their travels in 2016/17 so they might be vulnerable even with Southampton’s woes in the final third. But given the two sides were goalless in their last meeting, Sunday’s clash might well go the same way. Southampton have scored one or fewer goals in 12 of their last 13 Premier League games, while Leicester City have failed to score in four of their previous six. As a result, Marathon Bet are giving odds of 7/10 for Total Goals Under 2.5. Southampton and Leicester City have drawn two of their last three Premier League head-to-heads, and Betfred are giving odds of 5/2 for the two clubs to play out another stalemate as a result. There are just two places and three points separating Southampton and Leicester in the table and given they have won just 11 of their combined 42 games this season, supporters shouldn’t expect too much entertainment at St Mary’s. Both teams need a result to open up a gap between them and the relegation zone after a bad few weeks but the outcome could go either way. Southampton are inconsistent at home, Leicester can’t win away. Neither side can score of late but have poor defensive records for their troubles.