Leicester have a perfect record in their first ever Champions League campaign as they added to their win against Club Brugge a fortnight ago with a very impressive home win against FC Porto on Tuesday. They may be taking Europe by storm but they are struggling to match the heights of last season’s title winning efforts.
That was always to be expected but there would have no doubt been some cause for concern after going 4-0 down to Manchester United before half time last Saturday. Demarai Gray may have scored arguably the goal of the game but it was scant consolation in what was a miserable trip to Old Trafford.
Claudio Ranieri will now be hoping that they can use that victory over Porto in midweek as a springboard to get back up the table. On the evidence of what he have already seen this season, they may very well have to go all the way and win the Champions League if they are to play in the competition next time around but after what we saw on there way to a first ever Premier League crown then you can rule absolutely nothing out.
It was the Algerian connection that was the difference on Tuesday as Riyad Mahrez supplied the ammunition for his compatriot Islam Slimani. Slimani was once again the scourge of Porto, after his goals for Sporting Lisbon had caused them so many problems in Portugal he was once again on hand to head home and give Leicester all three points and give them a maximum 6 from 6 at this early stage of the group phase.
This afternoon they play host to a Southampton side who after a sluggish start to the season come into this game on the back of successive victories. They eased past West Ham at the London Stadium last Sunday as the marched onto a 3-0 win and they will look to build on that performance when they visit the home of the Champions this afternoon.
They couldn’t add to their opening Europa League victory on Thursday after being held to a goalless draw by Israeli outfit Hapoel Be’er Sheva but that said Claude Puel is starting to make his mark since taking over as Southampton manager and will look to record a third successive league win this afternoon.
Charlie Austin is the man charged with getting the goals and he is filling the void that Graziano Pelle left when he moved to the riches of the Chinese Super League. Both he and Dusan Tadic were on the scoresheet against West Ham last Sunday and if they are afforded the same amount of chances today then there’s no reason why they can’t continue their rich vein of scoring form.
The back line of Leicester is somewhat of a concern for Claudio Ranieri as his side have shipped 4 goals in three occasions during the month of September, he’ll have to eliminate those defensive deficiencies but even on Southampton’s best day I couldn’t see them scoring 4 times at The King Power.
As for who will win, Southampton arguably have the better form but Leicester have had the harder fixtures and will certainly be full of confidence after beating Porto in Midweek. I’ll put my money on a home win as the Foxes out wit the Saints.