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Leicester City 2 v 0 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 16th January 2021 Kick-off 20:00
Southampton At Leicester City The Preview
Saturday, 16th Jan 2021 08:48

Saints head up to the King Power Stadium for a fixture that could see us leapfrog the Foxes and end the weekend in 4th place with a win, but with an injury crisis still in full swing it will be a tough ask, can they do it.

Saints form in recent years has been good at Leicester, the last two previous visits have seen us leave with a 2-1 win and three years ago a 0-0 draw under Mark Hughes kick started our surge towards Premier League safety, indeed the previous season also saw a goalless encounter meaning that our last defeat up there was back in Leicester's Premier League season back in 2016 when we narrowly lost 1-0.

But if we are to keep this unbeaten run going it will have to be done in adversity with the injury list having increased since the win over Liverpool just under a fortnight ago.

But although it seems likely that the youngsters will have to be used again and of course the potential absence of Danny Ings will be a big blow, we can still put out a competitive side although the bench could be a bit sparse in terms of experience.

First decision for Ralph will be in goal where he has to decide if Alex McCarthy is free of any after affects of his bout of Covid 19 .

That will also be the case with Danny Ings whose period of isolation ended yesterday and Oriol Romeu will be back after missing the Liverpool game, but after Ibrahima Diallo's performance in that game he might struggle to get his place back, Che Adams returning will be a direct replacement for Ings.

I can see Saints lining up like this and in truth it won't be a bad starting line up.

McCarthy

Walker Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand

Armstrong, JWP, Diallo, Walcott.

Adams

Yes I know that is only 10 players, the big question is who the 11th will be and what formation Ralph will select.

The easiest option would be to keep the normal 4-4-2 and slot in either Shane Long or Dan N'Lundulu up front, Danny Ings could start, but with a lot of games coming up it would be risky to ask him to play 90 minutes at full velocity after 10 days of missed training.

One option would be to a slight tweak, by playing both Romeu & Diablo in a 3 man central midfield and using the wide men to push up when needed .

We could even see Yan Valery reprise the right sided midfield role in the latter part of the Liverpool game and Theo Walcott pushed up front, Ralph still does have some options.

It will be an inexperienced bench though, but the youngsters stepped up against Liverpool and can do again.


This will be a tough game, but we will be suited to it and we will put out a side who will fight for every ball.

Am I confident we can win ? the answer is no, but I am confident that as in the game against Liverpool, we will make it difficult for Leicester to win and with our backs to the wall we can perhaps eke a result out.

Obviously that is not a great prediction, but given the number of experienced first team players we will be missing like Vestergaard, Redmond, Djenepo & Obafemi, the fact that we can still put out a good starting XI shows that the squad does have depth and if called upon the likes of N'Lundulu, Smallbone, Vokins & Yan Valery will not let us down.

Photo: Action Images



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underweststand added 09:26 - Jan 16
Previous results are for the history books ....and stats. nerds like me.
Yes we cannot forget the 0-9, but we still take joy from the 8 we put past Sunderland a few years back, and the 6 -3 destruction of Man Utd . etc, etc,
However, there are still half-a-dozen from that fateful defeat at SMS still in the squad and as long as they are still Saints' players they will want revenge.
This is a new game and regardless of Danny's "covid condition" and various other injuries the team should be up for it and want to get a good result.
Who the 11th player is still Ralph's secret, but he may well start with Shane Long, although many of us would like to see Dan N'Lundulu get some real game time, and whilst he is still waiting to get his first senior goal, he does look a real handful up front and may cause Leicester's back line a few problems.
Either way, I think we look to be worth at least one point (on paper), and the hope that we can get some good luck / VAR decisions and take the other two as well.
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bornonthemiltonroad added 11:05 - Jan 16
If Romeu is fit I can see him playing in a 442 with Diallo in the middle, JWP could then play on the right and Armstrong on the left, quite a strong but still creative midfield. That leaves Adams and Theo up top.
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underweststand added 12:17 - Jan 16
ALSO ..Is it a foregone conclusion that Alex McCarthy will return as goalie ?
We know he is normally first choice, but if Forster has any real future with Saints , then another clean sheet would go some way towards rehabilitating him in Ralph's thoughts.
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Letters from Wiltshire #35 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
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