Southampton host Man City at St. Mary’s in the English Premier League on Sunday. The hosts currently sit four points clear of Pep Guardiola’s team albeit having played one more match. Can City get their title challenge going again or will Southampton continue to stake their claim for a Champions League place?
Having lost their first two league games, Southampton have been in very good form since then. A run of five wins and a draw (at Chelsea) followed those defeats.
Since then, they have continued to play very well but have thrown away leads on several occasions. They led 1-0 at Wolves but drew 1-1. They then led 2-0 at home to Man Utd but lost 3-2. That was followed by a 2-1 win at Brighton and a 3-0 home victory over Sheffield United.
In their last match, they led Arsenal 1-0 through Theo Walcott’s goal but the hosts leveled in the second half. Despite facing a Gunners side with ten men for 30 minutes, Southampton could not find a winning goal.
Southampton Team News
The Saints have no injuries to deal with for this match. Ralph Hasenhuttl does not tend to rotate his side much but he had Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo on the bench for the last game. He could freshen up his attack with one of those two coming in.
Saints will play to win this match. They tend to press aggressively against the big teams but they scored first and parked a bus to beat Man City at home in July. They had lost seven matches in a row to Guardiola’s side before that and were pragmatic in taking the victory. They are likely to press high in this match but may drop off and defend deep if they score first. As against Arsenal, they won’t risk defeat to win if the scores are level in the final 20 minutes.
Man City Form
City are having a strange season. They have only lost twice in 20 matches this season but they have drawn five of their last 10 league matches. In their last eight league matches, they have won just three – against struggling teams in Sheffield United, Burnley, and Fulham.
They have struggled to break down deep, organised defences this term with Spurs beating them 2-0, Man Utd playing defensively to draw 0-0, and then a shock 1-1 home draw with West Brom all in their last five matches.
Man City Team News
Man City have Eric Garcia doubtful at center-back and Oleksandr Zinchenko expected to be absent at left-back. Guardiola may hand Sergio Aguero a start upfront to solve their scoring problems and Ferran Torres is pushing for a recall.
At center-back, the coach has been rotating constantly but Aymeric Laporte may have to settle for a place on the bench once again.
Man City Motivation
City will play their usual game of high possession and try to win the match. They won’t settle for a draw at any stage and may look to throw on extra attackers to turn the game if the scores are level now that Aguero is fit again to play some minutes alongside Gabriel Jesus late in matches.
Southampton have lost 1 of their last 11 PL matches
Southampton have kept 5 clean sheets in their last 11 PL matches
Man City have lost 2 and drawn 5 of their last 11 PL matches (4W)
City have won 1 of their last 5 away PL matches (D3, L1)
City have scored just 3 goals in total in their last 5 away PL matches
Man City have kept 6 clean sheets in their last 7 in all competitions
This should be a closely fought match. Southampton showed no fear when playing Man City and beat them at home last season. A good tip could be a draw. Southampton to lead at the break but threw away another lead could be worth a punt.
Best Bet: Draw at 3.65
Alternative Bet: Southampton half time/draw full time at 17.00
Correct Score Tip: Southampton 1-1 Man City at 6.75