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.

Premier League Preview: Southampton v Sheffield United

The Saints have won four in six heading into this one and with United without a win so far this season they will be confident of a positive result.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed he has a fully fit squad to pick from against the Blades and the Austrian is only likely to make limited changes.

Star man Danny Ings netted the winner off the bench at Brighton last weekend and he looks certain to replace Moussa Djenepo in the starting XI.

Blades boss Chris Wilder has confirmed Enda Stevens and Lys Mousset will be fit to return for him with
Max Lowe and John Lundstrum set to drop down to the bench.

Kick Off on the south coast is set for 12pm at the St.Mary’s Stadium

Premier League Preview: Brighton v Southampton

The Saints have struggled following the return of football after the international break, but they will still be confident of a positive result in this one.

Despite their dip in form, Ralph Hasenhuttl is not expected to make too many alterations, with Shane Long the only potential change after Moussa Djenepo failed to shake off an injury.

Star man Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond have both returned to light training this week but Hasenhuttl has already confirmed neither will be included in the squad.

Brighton boss Graham Potter will recall Tariq Lamptey to the starting line-up, following a one game ban, with Joel Veltman set to drop to the bench.

Potter also confirmed Alexis MacAllister and Neil Maupay are both fit to face the Saints but Adam Lallana, Davy Propper and Florian Andone are all still sidelined.

Brighton take on Southampton at the Amex at 8pm on Monday, December 7th.

Premier League: Aston Villa vs Southampton

A perfect start was emphatically ended by Marcelo Bielsa’s side last week, but Dean Smith’s team still find themselves third in the table and could end the weekend top of the pile if other results go their way.

The Villa manager has called for a response from his troops, who have no new injury worries to deal with ahead of the visit of Southampton. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is close to returning to action, but wasn’t ready to play in a behind-closed-doors friendly earlier this week. He’s expected to play for the under-23’s in the coming weeks as he returns from a long-term knee injury.

Brazilian striker Wesley is still missing, but could step up his return after the international break, while Kortney Hause is expected to miss out again with a groin injury.

Southampton might be tempted to keep the same XI that beat Everton last weekend, although they do have Theo Walcott available again after missing the game against his parent club.

Will Smallbone is still out with a hamstring injury, and despite training this week, Moussa Djenepo will also miss the game. New signing Mohamed Salisu is also out, but is closing in on a debut in the coming weeks.

Aston Villa take on Southampton on Sunday, November 1st. Kick off is at 12pm.

Southampton secure 2-0 Premier League home win over West Brom

The Saints never really got out of second gear against the Baggies as a goal in each half from Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu secured all three points.

The home side were the brighter of the two teams in the opening stages, with Che Adams and Kyle Walker-Peters both testing Sam Johnstone.

The former Manchester United keeper continued to keep the Baggies in the game, as he produced an instinctive stop from Danny Ings.

But with Johnstone forming a one-man barrier to the hosts, it was only a matter of time before they broke through, as Djenepo confidently tucked home just before the break.

Slaven Bilic’s side carved out some half chances after the restart, but with the visitors keeping them at arm’s length, Romeu secured the win late on.

Stuart Armstrong’s cross wasn’t cut out by the Baggies defence and the Spaniard swept home his first goal since 2019.

FULL TIME AT THE ST.MARY’S STADIUM IT’S SOUTHAMPTON 2 WEST BROM 0

Sheffield United face Premier League final day test at Southampton

Blades boss Chris Wilder will be disappointed the clash is a dead rubber, as his side stayed in the running for a European place for the bulk of the season.

European football would’ve been a fitting end to an impressive top-flight return, but unfortunately, the Blades haven fallen short.

For Southampton, this season could have been drastically different following a dismal start to the season form, highlighted by a 9-0 defeat at home to Leicester.

Home form has been an issue for Saints, but they’ve had no such problems on the road, with only Liverpool and Manchester City picking up more away points.

Sheffield United are at full strength this weekend, with Luke Freeman and Ben Osborn expected shake off knocks

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is without Moussa Djenepo and Soufiane Boufal through injury.

Jan Bednarek and Nathan Tella are rated 50-50 to play against the Blades, with Jack Stephens and Michael Obafemi set to start.

Southampton v Sheffield United at St Mary’s is a 4pm kick off on Sunday, July 26.