June 17, 2024

Southampton, unlike most other Championship teams, are not playing this weekend.

Russell Martin’s side were scheduled to meet league leaders Leicester City in a crucial match in the promotion chase.

However, the Foxes are in FA Cup quarterfinal action this weekend. This means that the match against the Saints has been rescheduled until Tuesday, April 23.

That will be particularly frustrating for Southampton supporters. That game has been rescheduled, denying them the opportunity to build on their recent back-to-back victories against Birmingham City and Sunderland.

It also leaves them with a crowded fixture schedule following the forthcoming March international break, with their game against Preston North End having to be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, Leeds United and Ipswich Town now have the opportunity to close the distance on the Saints in the chase for automatic promotion when they meet this weekend.

However, for some players, the fact that Southampton does not play this weekend may be advantageous.

We’ve looked at three players whose situations have improved as a result of the postponement of their match against Leicester City.

Kyle Walker-Peters could be back for Foxes clash

Southampton have been without Kyle Walker-Peters in their previous two games after he was forced off in the FA Cup defeat to Liverpool earlier this month.

Martin stated before the Preston North End game was postponed that he would return against Sunderland. However, the right-back was away from that game, so there may have been reservations about putting him back in against Leicester City.

But, with the match at King Power Stadium put back so far, these updates on Walker-Peters indicate that he should be eligible for the rearranged fixture. Given how crucial he is to the team as one of their most consistent performers with Premier League experience, this should be a significant lift for when the game comes around.

Ryan Fraser should be back for Southampton

Ryan Fraser explains why he is happy to accept Southampton sub role | Daily  Echo

 

Ryan Fraser is another player Southampton has been without recently. The on-loan Newcastle United winger has not played since being forced off in the defeat to Millwall at the end of February.

Martin did, however, say that he hopes to get the Scotsman back after the international break. As a result, he should also be fit for the match against Leicester.

He, too, has lots of top-tier and promotion experience that could be useful in a game like that. Fraser has made a significant impact with goals and assists this season, so he may be one to look to for an effect when this game rolls around.

Joe Aribo gets an extended break

Aribo reveals why he chose 'high quality' Premier League over Champions  League with Rangers | Goal.com Nigeria

 

Joe Aribo has had a hectic period, having spent the beginning of the year overseas with Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations.

After helping his country reach the final of that tournament, he has returned to play a crucial role for Southampton in recent weeks, scoring some key goals. As a result, he has received numerous demands.

However, Nigeria has not called up the midfielder for the forthcoming international break. That should imply he has plenty of time to recover physically and emotionally from the last few months. As a result, he should be well prepared to go again and make a mark for Southampton in the last stretch.

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