Vary into another dangerous position but he fails to pick anyone out with the low cross, then Ndidi lashes over from the edge of the box.
What chance for Jamie Vardy but McCarthy keeps Leicester in the game. Justin picked him out with a well-weighted pass, I though he was going to drill it with his stronger right foot but he skipped back inside and tried to finish with his left but the ‘keeper got a hand to it.
Ayoze Perez, who scored three in the 9-0 at St Mary’s shows great skill to wriggle free on the right, but after squaring for Vardy the shot was blocked. Vardy looks like he might be struggling with a muscular issue.
That was half a chance for Southampton but Leicester’s defenders got out to pressurise Ward Prowse and his shot from the edge of the are fizzed over the bar.
Now Leicester go close to a second! Outstanding defending from Bednarek to get back on the line and clear Barnes’ shot after Albrighton dug out a cross to the back post. Leicester change: Perez on for Maddison.
Leicester breathe a huge sigh of relief! First, Armstrong cracks the bar with a rasping shot from 25 yards, then Evans bundled Long over and it looked a stonewall penalty…but the flag was up for offside. Rightly, too. That was an escape.
Bednarek gifted Leicester the ball and Vardy was slipped in behind, but the Southampton defender recovered to get back at Vardy and narrow the angle. Vardy chipped the ball into McCarthy’s arms. Long on for Adams is the Southampton change.
Really good work from Harvey Barnes, digs out a dinked cross to Vardy in middle who was stretching and headed over the bar. More than half a chance for Leicester to kill the game off.
Soyuncu batters away Bertrand’s cross. Then the defender wins a foul from N’Lundulu. Vardy tries an audacious lob from a tight angle but he shins it over the bar.
Southampton are not quite carrying the same punch in this half. Credit to Leicester, who have pushed up the pitch and not offered their opponents the same space. The next goal is crucial.
Leicester are starting to smother Southampton more effectively. Barnes stands a cross up for Vardy but his header goes just over the bar. Dan N’Lundulu has replaced Smallbone for Southampton.
Fun and games here as Bertrand gets a booking for blocking Albrighton near the touchline, who falls to the floor in comical fashion. That booking means the Southampton man will miss the next league game due to suspension.
Will Smallbone picked up a knock for Southampton but is back on the pitch now. Stephens with a loose pass but Walker-Peters bails out his mate with some good defending against Stephens.
Soyuncu has replaced Fofana in the heart of the Leicester defence. Apparently a tactical change, Fofana was on a booking. He is quite a front-footed defender so perhaps Rodgers is trying to protect him.
Bertrand tries to volley across goal for Adams who would have had a tap in but he mis-cued and the ball looped behind for a Leicester goal kick. Soyuncu is warming up for the home team.
Bright from Southampton again. Smallbone curled a right-footed shot across Schmeichel who parried into the path of Walcott, but the former Arsenal man could not sort his feet out and the ball trickles wide. A reminder of the threat Southampton pose.
HT: Leicester 1 Southampton 0
I think Southampton have probably been the better side, but a moment of quality is the difference.
That was a lovely move down the Leicester left to free Barnes. He got to the byline but his ball back was inches behind the run of Vardy who would have been odds-on to take it 2-0.
Leicester looking dangerous on the counter but on this occasion Barnes cuts inside and curls a long way wide. On the goal, James Maddison waved his team-mates away to ensure a socially distanced celebration. One of the pictures of the day.
Stephens got sucked in on the goal but it was still wonderful technique from Maddison. Southampton almost strike back quickly though – Bertrand made a good run inside Castagne and smashed a shot that Schmeichel got a strong hand to. Southampton corner is cleared.
GOOOAAALL! Brilliant finish from Maddison
A through ball was played down the side of Stephens and Maddison used his body well to roll him, keep his composure and smash into the roof of the net from a tight angle with power. Slightly against the run of play but Leicester lead.
Threatening from Leicester. Diallo looked like running away on the counter for Southampton but Ndidi won the ball back, and Vardy missed his kick when the ball was crossed in low.
The game has entered a slight lull when it comes to clear chances. Southampton’s work with and without the ball has been really impressive so far though.
Fofana had a difficult start to the game but was in the right position to head Walcott’s cross away, Leicester struggling to transition from defence to attack with an accuracy though.
Walcott and Adams linking up really well again and it takes a last-ditch challenge from Evans to stop Adams going through on goal. Leicester get back on the attack but Maddison shoots over from 25 yards.
Very good one touch play from Southampton but Walcott could not pick out the run of Amrstrong who was free inside the Leicester left-back Justin.
This is really good from Southampton. Smallbone fires a pass into the feet of Walcott who flicks it to Adams, who decided to go for goal with power rather than try the return pass. Schmeichel was equal to the powerful shot at his near post.
Albrighton tries to send Vardy over the top with a diagonal but Bednarek heads back to his goalkeeper. Then Leicester win the ball back high up the pitch, Maddison lets the ball run under him in a central position and Barnes stings the palms of McCarthy with the shot. Better from the home team.
Then Walcott gets in behind at the other end but doesn’t pick out Armstrong.
Southampton produce the first chance of the match. Fofana tries to step up and play Adams offside but the Southampton forward was in his own half and ran on to a pass faded in behind the Leicester backline. The angle was always narrowing as Leicester got players back and his strike deflected behind. Corner cleared.
Yellow card for Fofana for a soft foul on Walcott. Very difficult for Leicester to get the players who make them tick – Tielemans and Maddison – on the ball so far.
Southampton continuing to look comfortable, knocking the ball around well. We talk a lot about their pressing and maybe underestimate the quality of their play in possession.
Barnes penalised for a foul on Walker Peters who has been very involved so far. Diallo and Ward Prowse are doing a good job so far in central midfield – it’s a stiff task against Maddison, Ndidi and Tielemans.
McCarthy comes for a wide free kick and punches clear convincingly.
Unusually, Ward Prowse’s delivery from a corner is disappointing but Southampton are the team on the front foot early on in the game.
Positive from Southampton as Walker-Peters drives forward but he lacks accuracy with his final pass. Leicester looking happy to sit off and let the away team have the ball. Walker Peters gets forward again but Evans heads Smallbone’s cross away.
An early glimpse of what we can expect from Southampton, within seconds of the game kicking off you could throw a blanket over their midfield four. McCarthy quickly off his line to sweep up a ball over the top towards Vardy. There is usually space behind this Southampton back four.
The team are out
Similar systems for both teams but Southampton will play in more of a narrow shape.
“Ings is back in training but the game today is too early.”On his changes, including Alex McCarthy’s return in goal: “We have two good goalkeepers, Alex [McCarthy] has done a great job so far. Our bench is very young today but we hope we can handle this.”It’s about the team performance, not the individual performance today.”
“It’s a game I’m looking forward to. It’s two attacking teams and it should be a really good game.”It’s great to have Ricardo Pereira back [on the bench]. He can play a number of roles for us. We have guys who aren’t making the bench as well. If we have to change it [tonight] we have the chance to do that.”
The teams the old fashioned way
Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin, Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy
Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand, Armstrong, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Smallbone, Adams, Walcott
Two impressive teams punching above their weight
Leicester and Southampton are firmly in contention for European qualification but recent history looks to be in the away team’s favour. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team are unbeaten on their last four league visits to Leicester and have not lost a Premier League away game since the opening game of the season. Leicester have secured some superb away wins this season – taking three points from Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Leeds United – but have surprisingly slipped to defeat in half of their home games.
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and James Maddison return after minor injuries, while Cengiz Under and Ricardo Pereira could feature after longer-term issues. Southampton will miss Danny Ings due to a positive Covid tests and Oriol Romeu, Jannik Vestergaard, Mohammed Salisu, Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo are all doubtful. Their high-tempo, counter-attacking football has been very well suited to playing away.
Southampton manager Hasenhuttl is not expecting to spend big in January: “You have to know what are the limits in the future and what you have to do for the future.
“The last thing we will do is gamble with some numbers of wages that we will not pay.
“This is a basic of every negotiation of with a player in the future. The players know this.
“We are definitely not the highest paying club in the league. There are some that do it. OK. We cannot. They know this.
“Everybody who wants to come with us is invited to. We showed every player we want to continue working with them. Then it’s about the players to decide what they want to do and that’s it.”
A victory for Leicester would take them second in the league, at least until Liverpool and Manchester United meet at Anfield tomorrow. A win for Southampton would take them level on points with Leicester.
Full team news on the way shortly.