Southampton 13th (0-1-1) vs Leicester City 8th (1-0-1)
Live from St. Mary’s on Saturday August 25th at 10 AM ET on NBC Gold
If you’re feeling brave at heart, and a have a lack of care for wasting one of your two precious days off work, take a drink each time you hear “When The Saints Go Marching In.” I’m not even talking a big drink, just take a sip. By the 100th time you hear it, it won’t matter whether it was Absinthe or Kahlúa, you’ll be seeing 44 players on the pitch.
An opening day draw to Burnley at home followed by a narrow defeat at Everton leaves Southampton sinking closer to where they spent the majority of last season. While I was certainly impressed they managed to stay up, in my opinion, they didn’t do enough in the transfer market over the Summer to improve their side going into this season.
About the only move they did make was acquiring Danny Ings from Liverpool. Overall he had a decent performance against the Toffee’s, but really should have scored when he was 1v1 with Jordan Pickford after he spilled the save, but only managed to hit the post. He was finally rewarded when his glancing header went into Pickford’s far post, but it wasn’t enough as the fell 2-1.
Everton had a slick set-piece play to set up their first goal, and perhaps that can be an attack point for Leicester. Their second goal came from a lapse on a cross from their left, which as we all know, is prime Ricardo Pereira territory.
If you happen to be a purist when it comes to statistics, Leicester’s results should have certainly flipped over the first two matches of the season. With a higher margin of expected goals in their first match against United versus a much lesser margin in their second against Wolverhampton, the Foxes should have walked away with a famous victory at Old Trafford. But with expectation what always follows is reality, and in this case, the two couldn’t be much further apart.
Once more without the services of Jamie Vardy, Leicester fall back to their young Nigerian, Kelechi Iheanacho. He barely missed out on hitting the ground running against Manchester United and his strong preseason gives us all plenty of hope he can materialize some goals come Saturday. A strong link-up with James Maddison will be key in securing a Leicester victory.
One thing I would like to see in our next match is some real production from the wings. Pereira and Marc Albrighton seem to be very in sync, as do Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell, but when one pair is free for a cross coming in from the other side, I’d like to see them in or around the box waiting to pounce on a cross.
Leicester had a grand time at St. Mary’s last year and I expect a very similar outcome this Saturday. 4-1 would be fine again, but 3-0 is my actual prediction. Iheanacho, Maddison, and Rachid Ghezzal ( I know, wildcard pick) on the score sheet.