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Preview: Leicester City vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's FA Cup clash between Leicester City and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Leicester City and Southampton meet at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening in the second of this season's FA Cup semi-final ties.

The Foxes are competing in the final four for an eighth time, while fellow Premier League side Southampton have made it this far for a 12th time.


Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Leicester are well positioned in the Premier League's top four with a little over a month of the season to go, but right now their focus is on this huge cup tie.

Brendan Rodgers's side beat Manchester United 3-1 in the last round and also saw off another top-flight opponent in Brighton & Hove Albion in round five, having previously defeated Championship pair Stoke City and Brentford.

Southampton, who are left focusing solely on the FA Cup between now and the end of the season, have also had a mixed set of fixtures thus far.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges have defeated Shrewsbury Town, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth to reach the semis, keeping a clean sheet in each of those matches.

Indeed, Southampton could become the first team to reach the final of the competition without conceding since Everton did so in 1965-66.

The Saints enter the match on the back of a 3-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion last time out in the league, however, which leaves them 14th in the table.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl pictured on March 1, 2021© Reuters

Leicester are 20 points better off in third, though they also lost their most recent game 3-2 to West Ham United.

In fact, it is back-to-back losses for the Foxes, leading to the inevitable question of whether they can hold on to a place in the top four.

That is something they can answer over the coming weeks, but Sunday's clash is all about advancing to the showpiece that is the FA Cup final, where one of Chelsea or Manchester City will await.

Since winning the Football League Trophy final in 2010, Southampton have lost each of their last four games at Wembley, including an FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea in 2018.

You have to go back to 1982 for Leicester's most recent FA Cup semi-final, which ended in a 2-0 loss to eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur.

Ultimately, though, those past results will count for little this weekend in a clash between two teams aiming to make some history by going all the way and lifting the most famous domestic cup of them all.

Leicester City FA Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Leicester City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Southampton FA Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Southampton form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L



Team News

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring against Arsenal in the Premier League on October 25, 2020© Reuters

James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez were left out of the squad against West Ham for breaching coronavirus protocols, but all three have been involved in training this week.

Caglar Soyuncu may also be back in the Leicester squad on Sunday after recovering from COVID-19, possibly seeing Daniel Amartey make way from the starting lineup.

Cengiz Under remains a doubt, though, while Harvey Barnes and James Justin have definitely been ruled out of contention.

Kelechi Iheanacho may be the man of the moment for Leicester, but strike partner Jamie Vardy loves playing at Wembley, scoring in all three of his appearances there for Leicester.

As for Southampton, they will be without Takumi Minamino as he featured in the competition for parent club Liverpool in the early stages.

Michael Obafemi, Oriol Romeu and William Smallbone also remain absent for the Saints.

Hasenhuttl fielded effectively his strongest side in the loss to West Brom, but the manner of the defeat will perhaps open the door for the likes of Che Adams, Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Tella.

Nathan Redmond will be eager to start as he looks to build on a return of seven goals in his last six FA Cup appearances - five goals and two assists.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu; Pereira, Tielemans, Ndidi, Praet, Castagne; Vardy, Iheanacho

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Armstrong; Adams, Ings


SM words green background

We say: Leicester City 2-0 Southampton

Southampton have won both previous FA Cup meetings between these sides - in January 2006 and January 2008 - but Leicester have the better record in more recent encounters overall.

The Foxes won 2-0 when the sides met at the King Power Stadium in the league three months ago, and we can see this contest at Wembley ending the same way.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data


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How you voted: Leicester vs Southampton

Leicester City
79.8%
Draw
7.3%
Southampton
12.9%
178
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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured on March 3, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
14Southampton36127174763-1643
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36814143742-538
RFulham36512192650-2427
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320

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