Leicester vs Southampton preview: Claude Puel looking for home comforts
Last Updated: 12/01/19 11:26pm
Leicester City will look to improve their inconsistent form at the King Power Stadium when Southampton visit on Saturday.
Wins over Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton over the festive period have lifted Leicester into seventh place in the Premier League, meaning they are four points better off than at this stage last season.
However, they suffered an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at Newport County last weekend and their form at the King Power Stadium is underwhelming the home support. In fact, they have won more points away (17) than at home (14) this season.
Boss Claude Puel wants a reaction from his players after the loss at Newport.
"We need a good reaction for the fans," said Puel. "We analyse our last game and we want a reaction.
"Our elimination against Newport doesn't change our ambition in the Premier League. We are seventh in this moment, but we know the difficulties we have now to maintain this ranking.
"We have to keep momentum to stay in the top half of the table and we'll see in which position we can finish. We have lots of teams ready to compete with us and with the same objective.
"We have six top teams in front of us, with fantastic squads with great players, and they pay a lot of money.
"We have teams like West Ham and Everton who spend a lot of money, more than us. There are good players in other teams that want the same as us."
Leicester City will be without Jonny Evans for a month and a half after the defender broke a toe.
The Foxes could hand a start to the recalled Harvey Barnes, who has returned from his loan at West Bromwich Albion.
The midfielder impressed in the Sky Bet Championship, scoring nine goals in 28 appearances.
Southampton travel to Leicester without strikers Danny Ings, Charlie Austin and Michael Obafemi.
Ings and Obafemi both have hamstring problems, while Austin has been given a two-match suspension for making an abusive and/or insulting gesture during the defeat against Manchester City.
Defender Ryan Bertrand (back) also remains unavailable, but has returned to training, while Maya Yoshida is away on international duty with Japan at the Asia Cup.
Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg continues his four-match suspension.
- Leicester City have lost just one of their 12 home Premier League matches against Southampton (W7 D4), a 0-4 defeat in December 2001.
- The last three meetings between Leicester and Southampton at the King Power Stadium have all ended goalless, including a 0-0 draw in the League Cup earlier this season.
- Southampton have failed to score in their last four away Premier League games at the King Power against Leicester - their goalless run stands at 370 minutes.
- Leicester have won three of their last four Premier League games (L1), more than they had in their previous 10 in the competition (W2 D4 L4).
- Southampton have earned four points from their last two Premier League away games (W1 D1), as many as they had in their previous nine on the road in the competition (W1 D1 L7).
- Southampton have lost more points from winning positions than any other side in the Premier League this season (15), while no side has won more from behind so far than Leicester (12, level with Arsenal).
- Managers who have previously managed Southampton in the Premier League have won 18 Premier League games against them after leaving - more than any other side has lost against former managers in the competition; two of those wins belong to Claude Puel.
You can see Ralph Hasenhuttl has made improvements, sometimes Southampton come up against a team that is too good for them, but that's how it goes. Will Leicester turn up and play? Is there any point? If they finish seventh everybody will moan because they will have to come back in June and play in the Europa League.
And then by the time Christmas and the New Year rolls around everyone is tired and they bow out of the FA Cup with a much-changed side. And then, in a strange cycle, it happens all over again. It's extraordinary! Leicester fans aren't going to moan because they had the time of their lives a few seasons ago, but the club cannot bask in that glory for the next 100 years.
Puel keeps on resting everybody, he keeps changing things around. Just play your best team! You've got nothing else to play for!