Leicester’s early-season momentum shows little signs of slowing down. The Foxes find themselves third in the league and in with a serious chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League given the failings of the established top-six clubs in the early days of the season.
They can count themselves unlucky that they are not undefeated as their two defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool have come courtesy of contentious penalties.
Away games against a struggling Southampton side are now the type of games that Leicester must win if they are to give themselves a chance of Champions League football.
Southampton are without a win in four and look set to be involved in another relegation dog fight, meaning that Leicester fans will expect victory at St Mary’s on Friday.
The Saints were much improved against Wolves last time out as they produced a solid defensive performance that restricted their opponents to just four shots in 90 minutes. In contrast, Southampton had 15 shots and looked potent on the counter-attack.
The performance offered a blueprint for how Southampton might stay up, but they should come up short in front of the cameras on Friday night.
Leicester’s talisman has been in scintillating form this season, scoring six of the Foxes’ 16 league goals so far.
Vardy has never really relented since 2015/16, when many thought it was just a one-off. He is now almost certainly going to reach 100 Premier League goals and, considering he was playing non-league football until he was 25, that is some achievement.
Vardy’s goals this season have been crucial to Leicester’s rise and he has directly contributed to six of their 17 league points.
He has scored pivotal goals in home victories against Burnley and Bournemouth and gave Leicester an early lead in their only away win of the season against Sheffield United.
His partnership with James Maddison and Youri Tielemans looks decidedly lethal and he is the most likely of the three to find the back of the net on Friday night.
Leicester’s record of 16 goals scored from nine league games, coupled with Southampton’s record of 16 goals conceded from nine league games, suggests that the Foxes will have little trouble finding the back of the net.
However, there is also a considerable amount of evidence that Southampton will get on the scoresheet too.
Leicester are an unusual team. They have a decent defensive record of just eight goals conceded and only Liverpool and Sheffield United can boast a better record. Yet, they have only managed two shutouts – against a woeful Newcastle and a Wolves team struggling for form.
Southampton, meanwhile, have scored in each of their last eight league games and only failed to score in their opening day defeat to Burnley.
On last week’s evidence, the Saints will create plenty of opportunities and an in-form Danny Ings should take at least one of them. If that happens, Leicester will have to score at least twice to win which would take the game over the 2.5 goals mark.