Lions’ boss served well
Gareth watches ten Englishmen at Leicester
As much as a battle for Premier League supremacy Leicester City’s 0-0 draw with Southampton felt like an audition for the watching England manager.
Gareth Southgate spent his final hours before naming his first squad at the King Power Stadium and by the end was blessed with having seen in action no fewer than 10 players eligible to wear three lions.
Such a figure in a single game has long been a rare sight in the English top-flight but while Southgate would be troubled by that situation he could find cause for optimism here.
Claudio Ranieri is likely to have a different perspective as his side again struggled to reproduce their form of last season or the Champions League, although he can be content that their long unbeaten run at home in the Premier League is extended.
The match left both sides frustrated and stationary in midtable. Southampton can be more pleased with the point having only returned from Europa League exertions 48 hours previously.
Southgate had plenty of reason to be in attendance. As well as Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater, Southgate could cast his eye over Marc Albrighton and Danny Simpson, whose case for a call-up had been strengthened due to Nathaniel Clyne’s unavailability through injury.
For the visitors there was Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand at the back, and Nathan Redmond and Charlie Austin forming a potent-looking attack. In what can be considered an unorthodox approach from Claude Puel, Austin was operating on the left side with Redmond up front.
That meant Wes Morgan and Robert Huth had Redmond’s pace to contend with and the threat of Austin coming onto crosses at the far post, as happened in the ninth minute.
Right-back Cedric cut onto his left to curl a cross into the box and Austin met the ball well but Kasper Schmeichel was able to catch easily.
Simpson was alert to block another Austin chance 12 yards out but in the 15th minute Leicester had the post to thank for the scores staying at nil.
Steven Davis found space midway into the hosts’ half and spotted Austin pealing off into the right channel of the area. Davis produced a chip worthy of the Ryder Cup and Austin took little notice of the impossible angle to let fly first time.
Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk in action against Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa /Reuters.