Former Southampton captain Dean Hammond has provided his early thoughts on the Saints’ upcoming Premier League match against Leicester City.
Southampton faced Leeds United at Elland Road in the Premier League on Saturday, 25th February. They went into the game looking to build on their win against Chelsea.
However, the Saints ultimately succumbed to a 1-0 defeat, courtesy of a winner from Junior Firpo. Ruben Selles’ first game as the team’s permanent manager thus did not go to plan.
The Spaniard will be determined to return to winning ways when his team face Leicester at St. Mary’s in their next league game. It will also be his first home game after taking charge of the team.
Looking ahead to next weekend’s match, Hammond is confident that St. Mary’s will give Selles a warm welcome. He is also positive that Southampton can take advantage of Leicester, who he feels are under pressure.
"“It’s a big game. I think Leicester are in the mix of this [relegation] as well”, Hammond said on Southampton’s The Final Whistle podcast.“They are under a bit of pressure. They’ve been very, very indifferent this year.”“They’re better since January, they’ve made some signings that have improved them.”“So, it’ll be a difficult game, but it’s Ruben Selles’ first home game as manager.”“There will be an atmosphere at St. Mary’s and the fans will be buzzing.”“They’ll be full of energy and they’ll want to create an atmosphere.”"
Leicester currently sit 14th in the table, six points above the Hampshire-based club.
Southampton can beat under-pressure Leicester, says Hammond
Hammond went on to state every game from now till the end of the season is like a cup final for the Saints. He thinks Selles and Co. can return to winning ways with a victory over the Foxes next weekend.
"“Every game is big now, there are 14 games left”, Hammond added.“Every game until the end of the season is a cup final for Southampton and for the players.”“This is the next game really, against a team that are not full of confidence, that are not winning games, are not doing as many goals as they should and not doing as well as they should with the squad they have.”“So, the pressure is on Leicester.”“Southampton, if they can play with that intensity, play with that confidence and that composure in possession and create a few more chances, commit a few more bodies forward, then they’ll be able to cause Leicester some problems.”“A big game, but a game that Southampton can win, they definitely can.”"
It is worth noting that Hammond also plied his trade for Leicester during his playing career.