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English Championship Betting Preview: Southampton vs. Leicester City

September 15, 2023

Southampton take on Leicester City at St Mary's Stadium when the Championship returns to action after the international break. 

A matchup usually recognized for its Premier League spirit over the past decade or so. However, both teams were relegated last season and will be desperate to return to the Premier League as soon as possible.

Southmapton claimed a league double over Leicester City last term. The Saints won 2-1 at the King Power Stadium last August and also claimed a 1-0 home win in March. 

The narrow victory in March was Southampton's first win over The Foxes since January 2017, when the Leicestershire outfit were reigning champions.

Southampton Betting Preview (+135 at Everygame)

Russell Martin was named manager of Southampton and signed a three-year contract in June. His first competitive game in charge was a 2-1 victory at newly-promoted Sheffield Wednesday, thus ending Southampton's nine-match winless run in their last nine opening day fixtures.

Southampton are now keen to bounce back from their Championship defeat to Sunderland last time out as they welcome Leicester to St Mary's Stadium on Friday night

The Saints suffered an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Sunderland in their last game prior to the break. Russell Martin's side haven't seen any light at the Stadium of Light as they found themselves trailing 2-0 just seven minutes into the match. 

They have had two weeks to sit on their last result that brought their good start to the season to an immediate halt.

Russell Martin’s side must brace themselves for a difficult schedule this month. First, they face promotion rivals Leicester City at St Mary's this Friday before they host Ipswich Town (currently second, level on points with Leicester) four days later.

Southampton then travel to Middlesbrough next weekend before facing another difficult opponent at home on September 30 in the shape of Leeds United.

Adam Armstrong and Che Adams are competing for the centre-forward spot. The former has been directly involved in five goals in as many appearances (four goals and one assist) whereas the Scotland international boasts three goals in four matches this season (starting just one of them).

Manchester City loanee Taylor Harwood-Bellis could be handed his debut for Southampton here, while the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and Ryan Fraser are also pushing to start on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ross Stewart should be fit to make his Southampton debut in the coming weeks as he continues his recovery from a long-term injury.

The Scottish forward, who switched Sunderland for St Mary's on transfer deadline day, has not featured in a game since he suffered a major achilles injury during his former club's FA Cup match at Fulham in January.

Southampton's Joe Aribo and Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi were both teammates during Nigeria's 6-0 AFCON qualifier win over São Tome and Príncipe last weekend. However, the two Nigerian midfielders will be looking to influence their clubs on Friday as either of them will be keen to regain their Premier League status as quickly as possible. 

Leicester City Betting Preview (+175 at Everygame)

Enzo Maresca's men are set to meet one of their promotion rivals with a trip to the south coast. They are sitting third in the table after winning four of their opening five matches and the Foxes need to be fairly consistent throughout the season if they are to secure one of the top two spots. 

Leicester City's surprising 1-0 home defeat to Hull City ended their six-match winning streak across all competitions since the start of the season. 

The Foxes lost some key figures over the summer as James Maddison joined Tottenham Hotspur while Harvey Barnes moved to Champions League side Newcastle United. Still, club legend Jamie Vardy and other first-team players stayed at Leicester and will be eager to regain their top-flight status. 

Veteran Jamie Vardy is yet to start a league game since the opening day clash against Coventry. However, the 36-year-old forward has also failed to score in five Championship matches, but he scored in Leicester City's 2-0 League Cup win at Tranmere Rovers before the break.

Failing to score in his five Championship appearances this season, Kelechi Iheanacho will be aiming to score against Southampton on Friday night. The Nigerian forward actually scored in last month's 2-0 League Cup win at Burton. 

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored a brace in Leicester City's 2-1 win against Coventry on the opening weekend of the season. The midfielder is set to play a key role for the Foxes this season.

Elsewhere, deadline-day signing Thomas Cannon has picked up an unspecified injury, meaning he and Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet are the two Leicester City players who aren’t available.

Conor Coady recovered from a fractured foot and could be included in a Leicester City squad for the first time. The experienced England defender is yet to feature in a competitive match since his £7.5m switch from Wolves after suffering an injury in pre-season training that was then exacerbated in a behind-closed-doors friendly against OH Leuven.

Possible Starting Lineups of Southampton and Leicester City 

Southampton: Gavin Bazunu - Ryan Manning, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Jan Bednarek, Kyle Walker-Peters - Flynn Downes, Shea Charles, Stuart Armstrong - Samuel Edozie, Che Adams, Kamaldeen Sulemana. (4-3-3) 

Leicester City: Mads Hermansen - Ricardo Pereira, Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, Callum Doyle - Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Cesare Casadei, Harry Winks - Kasey McAteer, Jamie Vardy, Stephy Mavididi, (4-3-3) 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

With both Southampton and Leicester City ranked among the favorites for getting back to the Premier League this season, their meeting on the south coast is already being billed as one that could say a lot about the pair’s promotion credentials.

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 2.5 Goals -143 at Everygame for 7/10 Units