Leicester v Southampton: Barnes fitness, predicted XI

Leicester City squad (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Leicester City squad (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /
Leicester City
Leicester City squad (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /

Leicester City’s third game of the 2022/23 Premier League entails a visit from fellow strugglers Southampton. This is Foxes of Leicester’s predicted Leicester XI, before the Fantasy Premier League deadline.

The two teams come into Saturday’s match after making relatively uninspiring starts to their Premier League campaigns, as both have picked up just one point out of a possible six from their opening two matches. That being said, the Saints’ tail may be wagging slightly more enthusiastically than that of the Foxes’, as last weeks’ home fixture against Leeds saw them come from 2-0 down to rescue a point at the Saint Mary’s Stadium.

In contrast, and as we already know, Leicester come into the game off the back of a disappointing 4-2 defeat against Arsenal. With Leicester’s squad availability not being subject to any new incomings or outgoings (for now), nor any additions to its injury list, Rodgers has all of last week’s players at his disposal when choosing a starting XI.

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In news that will ring like music to the ears of the Foxes faithful, Harvey Barnes is also in contention to start. Rodgers stated in a press conference earlier today that the winger has ‘looked excellent’ since being back in training.

Although it is understandably-unlikely that Barnes will not play all 90 minutes of the match, given the disappointing nature of the performances in his absence, as well as the formational-doors the winger gives us, we at FoL are predicting that Rodgers will be eager to draft in the local lad from the off.

In turn, this would see us switch to a 4-3-3 set up, which is something that Rodgers also alluded to during the press conference. From here, the team largely picks itself. Barnes will intuitively replace third-choice centre back Daniel Amartey in the team. The wing backs will revert back into traditional full back roles, and James Maddison will ‘narrowly’ occupy the right wing position. In using this intuition, below is FoL’s prediction of Leicester’s full starting XI against Southampton.

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Danny Ward GK; Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana CBs; James Justin, Timothy Castagne FBs; Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall CMs; James Maddison RW; Harvey Barnes LW; Jamie Vardy ST.