We are almost into the final month of the Premier League season and we have another big match in the top flight on Friday evening when Southampton look to gain some revenge for their FA Cup semi-final defeat when they host Leicester City at St Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton were edged out at Wembley and won’t need reminding that the last time this fixture took place at this venue they were smashed 9-0. Leicester have that FA Cup final to look forward to but this match is more about securing Champions League football next term.
Where to watch
The match is being shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and the Sky Sports Premier League channels. The build up begins at 7.30pm and the match kicks off at 8pm.
It is easy to forget that as recently as November, Southampton were top of the Premier League table. It has been a largely bleak time of it in the league since then with their FA Cup run the only thing which has kept their season competitive, but even that left them in that semi-final a couple of weeks ago. They will have to draw on their togetherness and any inner feelings of what they want to achieve as a group to gain some motivation for the last few matches.
The slump in form of Southampton was down to injuries so I’m not going to be too critical of them because they are not blessed with the best or deepest squad in the competition. It is just a shame that a promising campaign has fallen in a heap. They are safe for another season in the league though and have six matches to maximise their league position and build some confidence to take into next season with them.
This match is all about Leicester City. That in itself isn’t a problem. They played in standalone fixtures last Thursday and on Monday night and won the pair of them. The bigger issue might be if they have expanded too much energy in that time as the turnaround between each of those games hasn’t been quite as they would have desired. If they qualify for the Champions League next term though that is something they will need to get used to.
Leicester have the hottest marksman in the Premier League right now in Kelechi Iheanacho while Jamie Vardy will be looking to fill his boots in this match as well. The big thing for Leicester is there has been an improvement defensively in the last couple of weeks, although they were caught out a couple of times by Crystal Palace on Monday night. The Foxes have some big matches to come but can move 10 points clear of fifth place with a victory here.
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Ralph Hasenhuttl has seemingly been without key players all season and he will be missing Danny Ings for this game. He joins the likes of Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand on the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
Leicester City have been without some players themselves in recent times with James Justin and Harvey Barnes both out for the season. Wesley Fofana continues to play despite fasting during daylight hours due to Ramadan.
The way that Southampton press high and face up to the consequences makes me think we are in for another high scoring match. Hopefully from their point of view it isn’t quite as high scoring as this fixture last season was, or if it is then hopefully the goals are shared out much better, but every now and again we get styles that blend nicely in football and I think that is the case here despite their FA Cup semi-final being a tight and low scoring match. That was more because of the occasion than the tactics.
Both these sides have plenty of goals in them but there is also a vulnerability to them defensively. You would say that is more the case with Southampton, who went they start conceding can leak them quite alarmingly, but Leicester tend to only keep clean sheets against the poorer sides in the division. I’m a little surprised that the over 2.5 goals is as big as even money in this match but I’m happy to get on that for my Friday night bet.
Back Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with BetVictor
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