Southampton vs Leicester City
Friday at 3 PM ET on NBCSN
Yes it’s a Friday match and those have never been kind to the Foxes. Last season’s opener against Manchester United resonates in my mind and the beer was almost as bittersweet as that result.
Ralph Hasenhüttl not only has two less umlauts than Çağlar Söyüncü, his defense has allowed twice as many goals. The Saints ended last season hot, Hot HOT, but simmered down after a similarly hot English summer and have struggled to regain last campaign’s momentum. A 1-1 draw last time out at Wovles was their first point since a 1-0 win against Sheffield United, but the only thing keeping them out of the bottom 3 is a +2 goal differential over Newcastle. At -7 their GD is still the fourth worst, which really explains why they are were they are.
We have to contain Danny Ings. He is the Saints main goal threat at the moment and keeping him quiet will be key to the clean sheet. Nathan Redmond is an equal threat, but has been disappointing so far this season (especially letting down my fantasy draft team).
Hopefully soon we will have love songs and hate raps about VAR. It giveth, it taketh, it shaketh your moneymaker. It confirmed the Mane penalty, but rightly took away some goals to benefit the Foxes. It’s here to stay, and long may it reign in our favor. VAR is only a symptom of play, and Leicester’s has been outstanding recently, in large part due to the play of two wingers. I had been critical of Ayoze Pérez, but I think he has grown into this squad and will score his first goal against the Saints on Friday.
TWO assists last match and that is just the beginning of what we can expect from young Harvey. Did you know he had a cannon of a left to cross? Who knew he had that in his bag of tricks? I guess Harvey, and possibly Jamie, but the best part was Vardy reverting to the “chat sh*t, get banged” days cupping his ear to the traveling Burnley faithful.
While I know losing this match is a mathematical chance, I just can’t see it given current form. I don’t say this with the confidence of the Dallas Cowboys coming off three straight wins, I say this with the empirical evidence that Leicester make their own luck when they approach each match with a positive attitude, regardless of the opponent. Leicester win 2-0 and march out as they marched in, better than the Saints.