By 90Min
April 18, 2018

Leicester City welcome Southampton to the King Power Stadium in Thursday's midweek Premier League fixture, with the away team hoping a victory will help them in their quest for Premier League survival. 

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

Mark Hughes' side have shown glimpses of quality in recent weeks, but have taken no points from their last two games despite taking the lead in both fixtures. Against Chelsea at the weekend, the Saints fell victim to an Olivier Giroud inspired Chelsea comeback to lose the game 3-2, meaning they sit five points adrift of safety. 

Leicester meanwhile have little to play for in this game, besides consolidating a top half finish. Manager Claude Puel may be looking to rotate his side and give game time to players who haven't featured heavily recently. 


Previous Encounter

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

The last time these two sides met Leicester won 4-1 at St Mary's. The fixture marked former manager Claude Puel's return to the Southampton stadium after being sacked from the south coast club in June of last year. 

The French manager proved in emphatic style why Southampton should not have departed with his services. A full of confidence Leicester side opened the scoring through Riyad Mahrez, before Shinji Okazaki and Andy King put the visitors 3-0 up. 

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Maya Yoshida pulled one back for Southampton, but it was too little to late, as Okazaki compiled the misery to make it 4-1 with his second goal of the game. 


Key Battle

Harry Maguire vs Shane Long

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

Southampton need every win they can get at this stage, so they cannot afford to sit back. Southampton's attackers will be key in the game, with Shane Long at the forefront of the Saints' frontline. He has lead the line well in recent weeks, scoring to put Southampton in front against Arsenal. 


Long will have a tough task to break Leicester's back line. Harry Maguire has been fantastic for Leicester this season, and will want to finish the campaign strongly to consolidate his place in the England squad for this summer's World Cup. 

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To keep up with Shane Long will be tough for the English defender but he is often wasteful in front of goal. Long has scored just two goals in the league this season. 


Team News 

Wilfred Ndidi returns from suspension and he will slot back into Leicester's midfield, but Kasper Schmeichel was forced off towards the end of Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Burnley so we may see Ben Hamer make a rare appearance in goal. 

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Marc Albrighton and Christian Fuchs will also be pushing for recalls against the Saints as Diabatè disappointed last time out. 

It is likely that Mark Hughes will persist with the three man defence he started with against Chelsea, but Jack Stevens' suspension will mean Hoedt may come into the lineup. The Saints will also rue the injuries of star players Sofiane Boufal and Mario Lemina, who are both out of the tie. 


Predicted Leicester Starting XI: B. Hamer; C. Fuchs; H. Maguire; W. Morgan; D. Simpson; M. Albrighton; W. Ndidi; A. Silva; R. Mahrez; J. Vardy


Predicted Southampton Starting XI: A. Mccarthy; J. Bednarek; M. Yoshida; W. Hoedt; C. Soares; E. Højbjerg; O. Romeu; R. Bertrand; J. Ward-Prowse; D. Tadic; S. Long


Prediction 

Southampton are running out of time to save their top-flight status, so a win in this game is a must. 


However, Southampton have struggled to find the net this season and have failed to score on their last three visits to the King Power Stadium. 

Prediction: Leicester 1-0 Southampton

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Eagle (-2)
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