It has been three years since Leicester fans have placed any meaningful interest in the affairs of Southampton. Back then it was Nigel Pearson’s Saints’ final day win over Sheffield United which ensured it was they, and not Ian Holloway’s Leicester City, who survived the drop into League One. Now, fresh from a two-year stint in the third tier themselves, Southampton could find themselves 11 points clear of Leicester City at the top of the Championship by Saturday teatime. For the bookmakers it would represent a dramatic u-turn in their views of these sides respective prospects. The Foxes started the season as 4/1 favourites for the title with SkyBet and now find themselves priced at 7/1. Southampton meanwhile were 14/1 to finish top before a ball was kicked but are now 4/1, second only to West Ham.
Much of this has to do with how well each team has capitalised on what now looks like a relatively gentle fixture list. Both teams have faced four sides, none of whom have managed to win more than one game. In the case of Leicester, the solitary wins for Reading and Bristol City so far came against the Foxes.
Southampton are now unbeaten in 11 competitive fixtures stretching over this season and last. David Connolly has been instrumental in Saints recent success. The Former Leicester striker has scored in each of Southampton’s opening league games and was on the scoresheet for Sunderland on his last appearance at the King Power Stadium in 2007.
Under Nigel Adkins Southampton have shaken off the flakiness that often defined their last stint in the Championship. Last season the Saints won seven league matches in which they found themselves behind in the game and never lost when they scored first. They’ve managed this whilst maintaining discipline too. The side has received a grand total of two bookings so far, no Championship side has recorded fewer. Leicester’s two dismissals (deserved or otherwise) look positively dangerous in comparison.
Stats wise this could go very well or very badly for Sven’s men. A third consecutive home league defeat would be Leicester’s worst home run since the end of the 2006/07 season. But if the Foxes do what the combined might of Leeds, Barnsley, Doncaster and Millwall have managed this season (that is, to score 3 times) the Foxes will have recorded 6500 all time goals in the football league.