Premier League: Leicester v Southampton

After 17 games, Brendan Rodgers finds his side slap bang in the middle of a title race no one seems to want to run away with, as the Foxes sit four points behind leaders Manchester United. And when United take on Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, a win could see Leicester just a point off top spot come Monday morning.

Perhaps it’s a blessing that no one seems to be talking about Leicester as potential title challengers, just as they didn’t in 2016 when Claudio Ranieri’s side pulled off the ultimate fairy tale by winning the lot.

Fast forward five years and there are still a few players that are still around from that team, with Kasper Schmeichel and Jamie Vardy still as important as ever. The Danish goalkeeper will make his 400th competitive appearance for the club on Saturday.

Speaking of the past, it’s hard to preview this game without mentioning what happened last season when these two sides met, when Leicester ran out 9-0 winners at St Mary’s, with Ayoze Perez and Vardy both scoring hat-tricks.

However, since that landmark moment, Southampton have been a different animal, and a similar score line is almost impossible to expect a repeat of. Ralph Hassenhuttl’s philosophy has been adopted by every member of the Saints squad, and they now look like a solid Premier League side capable of beating anyone on their day.

If they’re to get anything at Leicester on Saturday though, they’ll have to do so without Danny Ings, who is self-isolating after coming into contact with a COVID positive person recently. Jannik Vestergaard is out with a knee injury, while Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond are also definitely missing.

Promising youngster Nathan Tella is also out, as is Michael Obafemi, who has undergone surgery on a muscle issue. There is some good news for the Saints though, as Alex McCarthy is back after missing the win over Liverpool, and Oriol Romeu and Che Adams should also be available.

Leicester have a much shorter injury list by comparison, with only Dennis Praet definitely out with a hamstring injury which requires surgery. The Belgian suffered the problem in the 4-0 win over Stoke City last weekend, a game in which James Maddison and Jamie Vardy weren’t risked with slight knocks.

The pair will be back for the visit of Southampton though, and both Ricardo Pereira and Caglar Soyuncu could also make the matchday squad, although both aren’t fully fit after injury. Soyuncu’s fellow Turk Cengiz Under should also be involved after an ankle problem.

Leicester take on Southampton at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, January 16th. Kick-off is at 8pm.

Southampton and West Ham battle 0-0 Premier League draw

Both sides created chances to win it, but with no real cutting edge at either end, a draw will go down as fair.

With the game bogged down in midfield in the first 45 minutes, Ryan Fredericks’ header went down as the game’s first meaningful chance.

With Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl missing from the touchline, the hosts were unable to really get themselves going after the break, it was West Ham that created the better chances to win it.

In form Tomas Soucek proved again what a handful he can be as the Czech star brought a diving stop from Alex McCarthy.

But just as the game looked to drifting off towards a complete, Said Benrahma was presented with a golden opportunity inside the box, but McCarthy spread himself to preserve his clean sheet.

Full Time at the St.Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 0 West Ham 0

Manchester City seal vital 1-0 Premier League win at Southampton

Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to match Liverpool’s seven goal haul at Selhurst Park but Raheem Sterling first half strike proved enough to secure a key three points.

Neither side created much in a frantic opening but City’s first real attack handed Sterling the perfect chance to blast home.

Bernardo Silva’s pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he fed in Kevin De Bruyne, and the Belgian drilled cross was emphatically tucked home by Sterling.

But the Saints refused to be knocked by that setback as Danny Ings came within inches of finding an equaliser.

Theo Walcott’s pace took him away from two challenges and hang a cross into the box with Ings nodding agonisingly wide.

But the hosts intensity inevitably dropped off after the break, with Ings forced off through injury, and Ferran Torres fizzing an effort just wide.

However with just a single goal in it heading in to the final 15 minutes it was still open season on the south coast.

City defender John Stones produced an outrageous block to deny Che Adams before Alex McCarthy produced a world class stop from Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez blazed over in added time.

Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton Manchester City

Sheffield United’s misery deepens with 3-0 defeat at Southampton

Pressure on the Blades boss will continue to intensify in the days ahead as goals from Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond sealed three points for the Saints.

Both teams struggled to settle into an early rhythm on a rainy south coast as Jan Bedranek powered a header wide and Sander Berge’s scuffed effort failed to test Alex McCarthy.

But with a scrappy theme beginning to develop before the break the Saints did edge in front through Adams.

James Ward-Prowse’s free kick was headed back into the box and Adams was more determined than John Egan as he bundled past Aaron Ramsdale.

Not being able to keep Southampton out before the break dented United confidence after the restart as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team went through gears.

Armstrong extended their lead on the hour as his deflected strike trickled past Ramsdale.

That left the Blades chasing shadows in the closing stages as Redmond tucked home a deserved third with five minutes left.

He linked up cleverly with Oriol Romeu on the edge of the box and with no Blades defender tracking his run he confidently slotted past Ramsdale.

Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 3 Sheffield United 0

Unflappable Danny Ings downs Seagulls in Southampton Win.

Southampton extended their unbeaten run against their south-coast rivals to eight games after a 2-1 victory at the Amex Stadium.

2000 Seagulls fans were welcomed back to the ground following a nine-month absence and would have been delighted to see their team take the lead with a Pascal Gross penalty that sent Alex McCarthy the wrong way after James Ward Prowse handled the ball in the area.

It was just reward for a first 25mins that saw Brighton on the front foot, calling the Southampton keeper off his line to gather on two previous occasions.

Brighton continued to press after the goal with Southampton struggling to find any real rhythm in their game and it was against the run of play that the Saints found their breakthrough with James Ward-Prowse continuing his impressive record from set-pieces with a pinpoint corner that found the head of Jan Vestergaard.

Brighton started the second half equally brightly with Tariq Tamptey looking threatening down the right but it was Southampton who would have the final say on proceedings.

Kyle Walker-Peters was bought down by Solly March on the edge of the area on 79 minutes with the referee initially awarding a free-kick. A lengthy VAR review duly followed with David Coote finally awarding the penalty which substitute Danny Ings dispatched to notch his 7th of the season.

Southampton in the European places and Brighton left wondering what might have been.

Edinson Cavani inspires Manchester United 3-2 comeback win at Southampton

The hosts dominated the opening 45 minutes, but an old classic of a game of two halves, Cavani’s half time kickstarted an incredible United comeback.

On a day to forget for United’s defence, it was the Saints who stormed into the lead on 23 minutes as Jan Bednarek powered home James Ward-Prowse’s corner.

And Ward-Prowse turned from provider to lethal finisher ten minutes later as the England midfielder curled home a trademark free kick.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team could and should have wrapped the game up before the break, but United keeper David De Gea produced a brilliant stop to deny Stuart Armstrong.

That chink of hope was all United needed after restart, as Alex McCarthy denied Cavani and Marcus Rashford in a busy spell for the visitors.

But that change in direction for Solskjaer’s side was exactly what they needed as Bruno Fernandes burst into the box to bury Cavani’s cross.

With their tails up in the final stages, a determined United equalised with 15 to go, as Fernandes and Cavani linked up again.

The Portuguese international’s cross caused panic inside the Saints box and Cavani stayed alive to poke past McCarthy.

However, the veteran striker was in no mood to settle for a point on the south coast and he nodded home Rashford’s cross to seal a dramatic three points in added time.

Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 2 Manchester United 3

Impressive Southampton secure 2-0 Premier League win at home to Newcastle

The Saints have been in excellent form in recent weeks, and despite the absence of star man Danny Ings, a goal in either half from Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong secured another three points.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were quick out of the blocks in this one as Adams edged them in front on seven minutes.

Miguel Almiron gave away possession on the edge of the box, and Theo Walcott’s neat cut back was fired home by Adams.

The impressive Walcott looked to be on a mission from there as Moussa Djenpo’s flick sent him through, but his effort curled just wide.

The home side continued to push and push Newcastle after the break, as Oriol Romeu’s powerful effort clipped the bar and Jan Bedranek forced a fine stop from Karl Darlow.

With the Magpies unable to muster up a response, Southampton grabbed a deserved second with nine minutes to go.

Again, Newcastle played themselves in trouble as Sean Longstaff gave away the ball in a key area and Scottish international Armstrong tiptoed past Jamal Lasacelles and tucked home.

Newcastle did almost steal a late consolation, but the redundant Alex McCarthy produced a brilliant save from Joelinton.

Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 2 Newcastle 0

Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Leeds

The two clubs have made identical starts to the season, with three wins, three defeats and a draw each, leaving them in mid table after seven games, but both suffered disappointing defeats last time out.

Palace were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Wolves at Molineux, and midfielder Luka Milivojevic was sent off for a late challenge on Joao Moutinho, meaning he will serve a three-match ban after an unsuccessful appeal. Roy Hodgson was livid with the referee’s decision, and it now means the Eagles squad is stretched even thinner, with their injury troubles still proving problematic.

Centre-back pair Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are both struggling after calf and heel injuries respectively, meaning Cheikhou Kouyate and Scott Dann are likely to continue at the back.

Tyrick Mitchell and Joel Ward are also missing, while new signing Nathan Ferguson and long-serving goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey miss out too.

There’s positive news in the shape of James McCarthy though, as the Irish midfielder could return after a thigh injury. He could form the McCarthy/McArthur midfield pair, as the Scotland international is expected to deputise for Milivojevic.

Jordan Ayew and Jack Butland are available again after positive coronavirus tests and should be involved.

Leeds have been hit by the virus as well, with record signing Rodrigo ruled out after a positive test. The Spanish international will now isolate under Premier League protocol and miss the trip to the capital.

Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined with a shoulder injury which is expected to keep him out until December, while Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw are also long-term absentees.

New signing Diego Llorente is still to make his debut for the club and will miss out with an injury suffered while on international duty.

Raphinha has been struggling with an ankle injury and a late decision will be made on him, but wholesale changes aren’t expected to the Leeds side that started the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City last weekend.

Top scorer Patrick Bamford will continue up front and hope he can show Gareth Southgate more of what he can do after missing out on the latest England squad, while midfield creators Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa will be tasked with providing the ammunition for the former Chelsea striker.

Crystal Palace take on Leeds United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 7th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Southampton edge out 4-3 Premier League thriller at Aston Villa

The Saints have been on of the top-flight’s most in form teams in recent weeks and some spectacular finishing from birthday boy James Ward-Prowse just about secured all three points at Villa Park.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have developed a reputation as fast starters this season and they were on the front foot early here as Theo Walcott fired against the bar.

And with all the pressure coming from the visitors they found a breakthrough on 20 minutes as Jannik Vestergaard nodded home Ward-Prowse’s corner.

Ward-Prowse then took control of things for the Saints as the England international fired home a pair of superb free kicks before the break.

Villa did try to force their way back into the game after restart with Trezeguet and Jack Grealish both forcing saves from Alex McCarthy.

But the Saints were in no mood to let their lead slip away as Danny Ings got in on the act to make it 4-0.

Stuart Armstrong fed the former Liverpool man inside the box and he curled another brilliant effort past Emiliano Martinez.

But despite the game appearing dead and buried in the closing stages, Dean Smith’s side launched an incredible late rally as Tyrone Mings headed home Grealish’s cross.

Villa threw everything at it in the final moments as Ollie Watkins fired home from the penalty spot and Grealish tucked past McCarthy.

But in the end there just was not quite enough time to haul back the Saints.

Full Time at a brilliant end at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 3 Southampton 4

Southampton end Everton’s unbeaten run with 2-0 Premier League win

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were way off the pace on the south coast as first half goals from James-Ward Prowse and Che Adams secured a deserved three points for the Saints.

Everton did look bright in the opening stages with James Rodriguez testing Alex McCarthy and Gylfi Sigurdsson firing against the bar.

But their sluggishness in midfield proved to be Everton’s undoing as Ward-Prowse edged Southampton in front.

The Toffees were caught sleeping from a thrown in into the box and Ward-Prowse raced onto Danny Ings’ pass to fire past Pickford on 28 minutes.

But despite being caught out by Southampton’s opener, Everton fell into their trap once again five minutes.

Ings forced in a cross from the right and with Michael Keane unable to clear his lines, Adams reacted to the loose ball to make it 2-0.

Southampton looked to pick up the initiative again after the break with Pickford called into action to deny Adams and Jannik Vestegaard.

And the visitors afternoon went from bad to worse in the closing stages as full back Lucas Digne was shown a straight red card for a lunge at Kyle Walker-Peters.

Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 2 Everton 0

Chelsea held to 3-3 Premier League at home to Southampton

Two moments of class from the German international put the Blues in pole position for all three points but a familiar story of defensive disaster robbed him of a perfect afternoon.

It was all one-way traffic for the hosts in the opening stages as Alex McCarthy was called into action to deny Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz.

And with the Saints unable to really get to grips on their hosts Werner slotted home a brilliant opening goal.

The former RB Leipzig man dummied Ben Chilwell’s pass to fool Jannik Vestegaard and kept his calm to confidently tuck past McCarthy.

And Werner kept up his one-man battle with Saints defence with an outrageous second goal 12 minutes later.

He did brilliantly to beat the offside trap in behind Jan Bedranek and delicately chipped past the onrushing McCarthy.

But despite barely having a kick in the opening stages, Southampton mustered up a response before the break, as Danny Ings capitalised on Kai Havertz’s error to fire home.

That break in fortune boosted Southampton’s confidence after the break as Chelsea gifted Che Adams an equaliser.

Kurt Zouma’s back pass was a poor one and Kepa could do nothing to prevent Adams from forcing home from close range.

But despite their calamity at the back, Lampard’s side were instantly saved from their horror show as Havertz made amends with powerful finish.

However nothing is ever easy with Chelsea side and with a fourth goal evading them in the final stages they left the door wide open for the Saints.

Zouma was again at fault as he failed to clear his lines in added time and Vestegaard bravely nodded home a late equaliser.

FULL TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE IT’S CHELSEA 3 SOUTHATMPTON 3

Danny Ings seals 1-0 Southampton Premier League win at Burnley

Neither side created a huge amount on a freezing cold night in Lancashire, but the cutting edge of Ings tipped the balance for the Saints.

Burnley’s patched up defence struggled to settle in the opening stages, as Southampton’s efficiency on the break handed them the lead after five minutes.

Kyle Walker Peters fed Che Adams in behind and Ings did brilliantly to get across his man to fire home his low cross.

The Clarets did look to step it up after the break, as New Zealand international Chris Wood threatened Alex McCarthy from close range.

With the visitors unsure whether to stick twist on their narrow lead, Burnley began to grow in confidence in the closing stages, as full back Charlie Taylor tested McCarthy with a piledriver.

But despite the occasional long distance threat, Burnley were unable to find a spark up top as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side picked up their first win of the campaign.

Full time at Turf Moor it’s Burnley 0 Southampton 1