Leicester City have a chance to stretch their lead at the top of the EPL standings to seven points if they manage to defeat Southampton at the King Power Stadium, Sunday. The game is not expected to be an easy outing for the table-toppers, with Southampton eager to climb higher up the standings as well.
Liverpool have handed a huge advantage to Leicester after Tottenham Hotspur were held to a 1 -1 draw Saturday at Anfield. Spurs lie in the second place with 62 points, compared to Leicester's 66. Leicester can dream of winning the EPL title, and a victory against Southampton will help them inch closer to the title.
Leicester cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal as they have been brilliant in the competition, winning 19 and losing three only. However, it is their counter attacking brand of football that has been talked about the most. With players such as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, they have been tearing apart defenders in the EPL.
Manager Claudio Ranieri expressed his love for playing counter attacking football, which has helped his team win matches.
"It's not only keeping possession of the ball or making more accurate passes. We made so many mistakes because we play 100mph. It's difficult to play 100mph – you can make mistakes. It's important how many chances you create and how many goals you score. That's the philosophy," club's official website quoted Ranieri as saying.
"I want to keep possession of the ball, but if my players don't love to keep possession, why I have to put them under pressure? I love to play on the counter attack, but if I don't have players who can play on the counter attack, why would I play on the counter attack? It's important to understand what your team can do and you give to them your best solution."
Leicester offencive players, especially Vardy, if he gets a chance to run at Southampton defenders, should be huge favourite to score a goal, and help his team defeat the Saints.
Southampton are second favourites, but they cannot be taken lightly by the hosts, especially after their impressive comeback against Liverpool. Southampton defeated Liverpool 3-2, after coming from two goals down, which showed their character. If they show similar level of determination, Leicester might have to suffer a defeat, which will please Spurs.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is confident that his team can deliver against Leicester, who were held to a 2-2 draw in their last EPL fixture in October. Southampton can take inspiration from that game, which they dominated for majority of the 90 minutes.
"For 60 minutes we were the dominating team, 2-0 up and the chance to score a third and a fourth, but they showed in that game they have a great spirit. They kept going until the last second and finally it was a draw 2-2. At that time I was surprised about their position on the table and it's amazing," mirror.co.uk quoted Koeman as saying.
With players such as Graziano Pelle, Shane Long and Sadio Mane, who can score goals when needed, Southampton have the physical strength as well to defeat Leicester. Koeman even feels Leicester is afraid of Southampton.
"Leicester are afraid of Southampton because they know we can beat everybody - we showed that against Liverpool, away to Manchester United, away to Chelsea. We are full of confidence, but we realise they are very tough, very strong with some great individual players. We are looking forward to Sunday," Koeman said.
Where to watch live
Leicester City vs Southampton EPL live game is set to begin at 12:30 p.m. GMT (6 p.m. IST, 8:30 a.m. ET). Live TV coverage of the match in India will be on Star Sports 2 and HD2,while the match can also be watched via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
The Leicester City vs Southampton EPL live game will be shown live in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports 1,while the match can be live streamed on Watch Sky Sports.
NBCSN will broadcast the Leicester City vs Southampton EPL live game in the US, while the action can also be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra