Premier League Odds, Picks | Southampton vs Leicester City Match Preview
Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Harvey Barnes
Southampton vs Leicester City Odds
Leicester City Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+102 / -124)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-134 / +106)|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Time is running out for Southampton to avoid relegation, but their hopes could receive a major boost Saturday if they can defeat the visiting Leicester City on Saturday.
Southampton pulled off a 1-0 away win against Chelsea two weekends ago. Yet, it feels less recent after the result was followed by consecutive home defeats, 1-0 to Leeds United in the league and 2-1 in the FA Cup to fourth-tier Grimsby Town in Wednesday’s fifth-round replay.
Another loss here could pull Leicester back into the fray after three consecutive defeats in all competitions. The Foxes sit in 14th, six points above Southampton and three clear of 18th-place Everton. And like their Saturday foes, they also fell in an FA Cup fifth-round replay in midweek at home to second-tier Blackburn Rovers.
Southampton won these teams’ previous meeting 2-1 in an August league meeting in the Midlands.
Southampton Dealing With Odd Trend
More than any of their relegation rivals, the Saints find themselves in jeopardy on the basis of their bizarrely poor home form.
They’ve posted a 1-7-3 (W-L-D) record at St. Mary’s Stadium in their league games compared to a more respectable 4-9-0 away mark. There’s no real statistical justification for this, given a -1.2 xG Diff at home and a -7.3 xG Diff away.
But perhaps there’s a combination of tactics and a lack of confidence at play.
For the last few years, the Saints under now-former manager Ralph Hasenhuttl were built in the mold of the manic high press of Red Bull Football group, where Hasenhuttl spent much of his previous career.
If there’s a flaw in teams that take pressing to the extreme, sometimes it’s an inability to create high-quality chances when opponents just don’t even try to keep the ball. That’s reflected in Southampton’s 0.08 xG created per shot, which is tied with Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers for the lowest in the league.
The Saints targeted creative players to try and solve this issue during a winter transfer window in which they spent about $75 million. Carlos Alcaraz (not the tennis player) is the only new face to score or contribute an assist since his arrival, however.
Leicester City Playing Better Than Results Suggest
Leicester’s recent three-game slide is a lot less concerning than it sounds at first mention.
The first two results came against title contenders Arsenal and Manchester United, and the last two came without captain James Maddison, arguably the most important influential player to his team of any in the Premier League.
Maddison was ill last weekend and then remained out for the midweek cup tie. But, he has trained this week and is expected to return Saturday. 21 of Leicester’s 24 points have been earned in the 17 games the captain and England international has played.
Leicester’s 1.2 xG created per match is roughly unchanged between Maddison’s appearances and the seven games he’s missed. But an incredible 34 of the Foxes’ 36 goals have come with the attacking midfielder on the field.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has also gotten solid contributions from his mid-season additions.. Attacker Tete, center back Harry Souttar and fullback Victor Kristiansen have established themselves as starters upon their arrivals. Tete has one goal and Kristiansen has one assist.
Southampton vs Leicester City Pick
The Foxes have played much more open football away from home this season. They’ve scored 2 or more goals in seven of 12 away games, and in seven of nine away games in which Maddison has featured.
Overall, they’ve scored 21 goals and conceded 28 goals on their travels while averaging the highest scoring matches in the EPL. The total of 28 conceded is slightly deceiving, given that 15 of those came in just three matches.
Southampton’s home struggles have also started with defending. They haven’t kept a clean sheet at St. Mary’s in the league, and they ave conceded at least twice on five occasions. Even goal-challenged Everton and Wolves both somehow scored two goals in visits to the South Coast.
So, if Maddison is in the XI, my play is on Leicester City to score two or more goals at +158 odds an implied 38.8% probability. It’s basically the same price as as the Leicester moneyline. However, the Foxes have scored twice on five occasions without taking all 3 points, and they have yet to win 1-0.
If, for some reason, Maddison is an unexpected scratch, yes on both teams to score is a good backup plan for any game involving a team that struggles to defend at home. In this case, it’s cashed on 15-of-23 occasions between Southampton’s home games and Leicester’s travels.
Pick: Leicester City Over 1.5 (+158 via FanDuel)
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