Leicester City 8th (11-10-12) vs Southampton 18th (5-13-15)
Thursday 2:45 PM ET, Live from the King Power Stadium on NBC Sports Gold
With seventh place looking pretty much wrapped up, Leicester still have to fight to solidify their place in eighth. The Foxes are mathematically safe from relegation, but could potentially slide down the table if they don’t see a solid points return from their remaining fixtures.
The Saints have had some tough results as of late. A 3-0 drubbing at West Ham, followed by a failed comeback at Arsenal and a comeback by then champions Chelsea, which both ended in 3-2 defeats. A positive note will be their offense is firing at all cylinders, but the negative obviously their defense letting valuable points slip through the cracks.
It would be funny though, funny interesting not funny ha-ha, if Southampton were to go on and win the FA Cup after subsequently being relegated. It also would not be the first time that’s happened. Wigan did such in 2013 when they beat Manchester City making it the only occurrence a team has won the cup and relegated in the same season.
Leicester have had their chances of late to close the gap between Burnley, none bigger than on Saturday, but it’s hard to overcome yourself. Cheap goals allowed in the first 20 minutes of the match, followed by not really showing up until the final 30 minutes doesn’t inspire a lot of faith in the side for the rest of the season.
I think with these last few games, Claude Puel can really have a go playing who he wants and where he wants them. He has the added luxury of this midweek game to really be flexible with formations and perhaps try something they’ve worked on in practice. It’s also a very good opportunity for fringe players to show their worth and maybe solidify a starting spot next season.
While the last couple of week’s I’ve been not only wrong, but dead wrong on some occasions with my predicted scorelines, but I think Leicester are finally at a tipping point. They’ll know Southampton have to win and won’t have anytime to mess about, a tight 3-2 win will do the trick.