Southampton, after getting four wins in all competitions on the bounce, stumbled as they travelled to the Turner Stadium in Israel. The Saints had to settle for just one point against Barak Bakhar’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva side. One point from a game away from home in the Europa is not the worst but Claude Puel definitely would have loved to get all three points.
The South Coast side will shift their attentions towards the Premier League now as they have a tough game in their hands when they travel to King Power Stadium to face Premier League holders Leicester City.
Leicester City have found it hard to replicate last season’s scintillating form but they have done very well so far in the Champions League. Struggling in the Premier League, the Foxes defeated Portuguese giants Porto 1-0 in the midweek in the Premier club competition in Europe. However, Claudio Ranieri’s side will still start against the Saints on the back foot after a 4-1 loss against Manchester United last weekend.
The Saints have had five straight clean sheets and will be eager to come back to winning ways. Here is the predicted Southampton lineup vs Leicester City-
Fraser Forster will continue under the bar ahead of Alex McCarthy. Cedric Soares is likely to start in the right-back position. The centre-back pairing will be skipper Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk. Ryan Bertrand should start in the left-back position ahead of youngster Matt Targett.
Soares, Fonte and Bertrand were all rested in the midweek in the Europa League game against Hapoel Be’er Sheva and will be fresh for the game and will be keen to keep their sixth straight clean sheet.
We expect Oriol Romeu to continue at the base of the midfield diamond. The Spaniard plays a key role for Claude Puel’s side by breaking opponents’ game and spraying passes towards his teammates from the deep. Steven Davis was rested in the midweek against Hapoel Be’er Sheva and we expect the Northern Ireland skipper to make his way back to the starting XI and start alongside Jordy Clasie in midfield. Dušan Tadic is likely to start at the tip of midfield and will offer the creativity.
Charlie Austin is in amazing form right now having scored five goals in the last four games and will be looking to get on the scoresheet again as he starts up front. He was rested against Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Southampton failed to score. His return to the starting XI looks obvious. Nathan Redmond is likely to partner his compatriot up front in a two-pronged attack.