In Profile: Ralph Hasenhüttl's In-Form Southampton

Leicester City's Premier League campaign continues on Saturday with the visit of Southampton to King Power Stadium (3pm GMT kick-off).
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While the Foxes have won on their last three visits to St. Mary's Stadium, the Saints enjoyed a 2-1 success in their most recent trip to Filbert Way in January 2019.

Ahead of the fixture against Ralph Hasenhüttl's men, continues its series profiling our Premier League opposition with a closer look at the South Coast club...

The manager

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Ralph Hasenhüttl
Ralph Hasenhüttl

Ralph Hasenhüttl's men recently beat José Mourinho's Spurs in the Premier League.

Former Austria international striker Ralph Hasenhüttl joined the Saints in December 2018, following spells in charge of German sides SpVgg Unterhaching, VfR Aalen, FC Ingolstadt 04 and Red Bull Leipzig.

He won promotion with both Aalen and Ingolstadt, while Hasenhüttl also led Leipzig to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga during his debut season as manager, runners-up to Bayern Munich.

As a player, at Austria Wien, he won the Austrian Bundesliga three times, and the Austrian Cup twice, while he also picked up another league and cup trophy in his home nation with Austria Salzburg shortly after.

During his playing career, he played for his hometown club Grazer AK, based in Graz, Belgian outfits Mechrlen and Lierse, and German sides FC Cologne, SpVgg Greuther Fürth and finally Bayern Munich II.

Following a 16th-place finish in 2018/19, Southampton are currently 12th in the Premier League standings and are into the hat for the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup this term.

The squad

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Danny Ings
Danny Ings

Striker Danny Ings has been prolific in front of goal for the Saints this term.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, international team-mate of City stopper Kasper Schmeichel, is the captain of Southampton, and in midfield is often accompanied by James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu.

Angus Gunn and Alex McCarthy have both been deployed in the goalkeeping position this term, while their English contingent is strengthened by Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand.

This term, Ings has been Southampton’s main source of goals. Joining in the summer on a permanent deal from Liverpool for a reported fee of £20M, he has scored 15 times in all competitions.

Another summer arrival, Moussa Djenepo, meanwhile, won the Premier League’s Goal of the Month award for September, thanks to a stunning strike against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane – the same turf on which Harvey Barnes struck a sensational volley to win August’s prize.

The trophy cabinet

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1976 FA Cup win
1976 FA Cup win

Jim Steele, Mel Blyth and Peter Rodrigues celebrate Southamptons 1976 FA Cup triumph.

Southampton’s most significant honour came in 1976, when they lifted the FA Cup following a 1-0 victory over Manchester United, thanks to a solitary strike from Bobby Stoke with seven minutes to play.

In 1984, they finished as runners-up in England’s top flight, finishing just three points behind Liverpool, while they won the third tier in 1960.

Their back-to-back promotions in 2010/11 and 2011/12 eventually led to them making a return to the Premier League after a seven-season absence.

Immediately prior to that recent success, they won the EFL Trophy (now Trophy) by beating Carlisle United at Wembley in front of over 73,000 fans in March 2010.

The stadium

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St. Mary's Stadium
St. Mary's Stadium

St. Mary's Stadium has been the home of the Saints since 2001.

St. Mary’s Stadium was opened in August 2001, replacing the Dell – an iconic ground which the Saints played at for over a century.

With over 32,000 seats, it has a slightly higher capacity than King Power Stadium, and has played host to four senior England internationals.

The first saw the Three Lions draw 2-2 with Macedonia in 2002, while victories over Norway, Italy and Kosovo have also taken place on the same turf.

During the 5-3 triumph over Kosovo, City Academy graduate Ben Chilwell played 90 minutes at left-back, while James Maddison was an unused substitute.

In October, meanwhile, Leicester equalled a 24-year record for the biggest-ever Premier League victory with a 9-0 success over the Saints, with Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Pérez netting hat-tricks.

The fixtures

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Southampton beat Spurs
Southampton beat Spurs

Southampton have been in excellent form over the New Year period.

The Saints are currently unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions, a run which has included Premier League victories over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

Following this weekend's clash with the Foxes, Southampton entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. Mary's Stadium next Saturday.

They then head to Crystal Palace the following Tuesday before hosting either Middlesbrough or Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup Fourth Round on Saturday 25 January.

Their run-in at the end of the season, meanwhile, sees them tackle Manchester United (A), Brighton & Hove Albion (H), Bournemouth (A) and Sheffield United (H).

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