There are some places around the country where Leicester fans, jaded by the experience of many fruitless away trips, never expect a win. The City Ground is a well highlighted recent example of this phenomenon, Upton Park another. But Leicester’s failure to win matches at Southampton tops them both.
Leicester have won just twice at the home of the Saints in 34 league matches. Should City win a league match at Southampton for only the third time, t-shirts commemorating the fans who head to Saint Mary’s on a cold Monday evening (when many others opt to watch the game from the comfort of their armchair) would not be out of place.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves though, it is worth remembering just how much the class of 2012 will have to do to join the victorious ranks of 1967 and 2000.
Southampton have been deadly at home this season, winning eleven league matches at St Mary’s and scoring no fewer than 30 goals in the process. At the back only Birmingham have conceded fewer at home in the Championship than Nigel Adkins side this season.
However, recently chinks in what had previously appeared to be invulnerable armour have emerged. In their last home match, the Saints were beaten by lowly Bristol City. Shock defeats at Doncaster and Brighton have contributed to a run on just three wins and four defeats in nine. It is a sequence of results which has suddenly made the automatic promotion race a lot more interesting for many clubs.
Of course, during this time, Leicester capitalised on Southampton’s slump by winning just twice in the same period, making automatic promotion about as likely a sensible discussion on the merits of Ritchie Wellens on an Internet forum.
So Leicester (who started the season as 4/1 hot shots for the title) now begin a sequence of fixtures against the Saints, Middlesbrough, Brighton and Cardiff which could leave even their playoff hopes in tatters. If City’s performance is more Barnsley than Forest, this could be ugly.