MX23RW : Sunday, May 22 13:07:50| >> :120:14125:14125:
[monks data]
Jan 22, 2022 at 5.30pm UK at St Mary's Stadium
Southampton
1 - 1
Man City
Walker-Peters (7')
Bednarek (33'), Armstrong (79'), Elyounoussi (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Laporte (65')

Preview: Southampton vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Southampton and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Premier League leaders Manchester City will be looking to claim their 13th successive league victory when they face Southampton at St Mary's on Saturday evening.

The Saints, meanwhile, who played out a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season, could move into the top 10 if they were to secure all three points on home soil.


Match preview

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl acknowledges fans after the match on January 15, 2022© Reuters

Southampton's five-game unbeaten run across all competitions came to an end last weekend when they were beaten 3-1 away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After Raul Jimenez and Conor Coady put the hosts two goals in front, set-piece king James Ward-Prowse scored an astonishing 35-yard free kick six minutes from time to give the Saints hope of a comeback; Only England legend David Beckham (18) has scored more Premier League free kicks than Southampton's captain.

However, Wolves managed to restore their two-goal cushion and claim all three points when Adama Traore netted in stoppage time. That result has seen Ralph Hasenhuttl's men slip to 12th in the table, 11 points clear of the relegation zone and the same number of points behind the top seven.

Hasenhuttl's side also suffered defeat against Wolves on home soil earlier this season, but that has been their only league loss in 10 games at St Mary's this campaign – drawing six and winning three of the other nine – a record which will give them confidence ahead of Saturday's clash with the champions.

The Saints will also take note of their resilient display at the Etihad Stadium in September last year when they played out a goalless draw, though many would argue that the visitors were unlucky not to come away with all three points on that occasion.

Another impressive defensive performance will be required on Saturday if they are to avoid defeat in both league meetings with City for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.

However, since keeping a clean sheet against the Citizens, Southampton have only recorded three shutouts in their last 16 league matches, shipping 27 goals in the process.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring against Chelsea on January 15, 2022© Reuters

While Pep Guardiola insists that the title race is not over just yet, Manchester City fans are sure to feel confident of clinching their fourth top-flight crown in five years following their slender 1-0 win over title rivals Chelsea last weekend.

Kevin De Bruyne haunted his former club with the decisive strike in the 70th minute to seal all three points for the Citizens, who now sit 11 points clear of Liverpool in second place, having played a game more.

City seem to be unstoppable at present and without a recognised number nine, Guardiola's men continue to excel in front of goal, netting 34 times during their 12-game winning streak in the league.

However, the Sky Blues were unable to breach Southampton's backline on home soil earlier this season, taking 16 shots on goal but registering only one on target. City have in fact failed to score in two of their last four league meetings against the Saints despite finding the net in each of their previous 16 against them.

Guardiola's buoyant bunch will be anything but concerned about such a statistic, and having opened the scoring in more different Premier League fixtures than any other side this season, going on to win all 17 matches in the process, another potential opener on Saturday should give them the platform to secure yet another top-flight victory.

City are six points better off than at this stage last season, and another win on Saturday would see them move 14 points clear at the summit before Liverpool face Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Southampton Premier League form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Southampton form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Manchester City Premier League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Manchester City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W


Team News

Southampton's Che Adams celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates on January 11, 2022© Reuters

After missing the victory against Chelsea, Man City defender Nathan Ake has since returned to training and will be in contention to feature on Saturday.

However, Oleksandr Zinchenko is sidelined with a knock and Cole Palmer is doubtful due to fitness concerns, while Riyad Mahrez has been given a week of holiday after AFCON holders Algeria were surprisingly eliminated at the group stage.

John Stones was selected ahead of Ruben Dias against Chelsea, but the latter – who has started every Premier League away game this term – is set to return at centre-back and play alongside Aymeric Laporte.

Ilkay Gundogan will be pushing to start his first league game since Boxing Day, but the German may struggle to displace one of the in-form midfield trio Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Bernardo Silva.

Raheem Sterling – who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at St Mary's last season – operated on the right flank last weekend, but he could switch to his preferred left side of the front three, if Gabriel Jesus is brought back into the first XI. Jack Grealish could be the unfortunate one to drop out should the Brazilian start.

As for Southampton, wingers Theo Walcott and Mohamed Elyounoussi both tested positive for COVID-19 before the trip to Wolves and are set to miss out again this weekend.

Valentino Livramento and William Smallbone will both remain on the sidelines with respective knee and calf injuries, while Moussa Djenepo is away with Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who has missed the last eight games across all competitions due to a thigh problem, is also ruled out, so Fraser Forster is expected to continue between the sticks ahead of former Man City stopper Willy Caballero.

Hasenhuttl has adopted a 3-5-2 formation in each of his last three league matches, and the Austrian may decide to stick with this system to try to counteract the attacking threat of the Citizens.

After a spell out with COVID-19, full-back Kyle Walker-Peters will be hoping to return to the first XI at the expense of either Nathan Tella or Romain Perraud, while either Adam Armstrong or Che Adams could form a partnership with Armando Broja up front.

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Bednarek, Lyanco, Salisu; Walker-Peters, Diallo, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Perraud; Adams, Broja

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, B. Silva; Jesus, Foden, Sterling


SM words green background

We say: Southampton 0-2 Manchester City

Southampton's point secured against Man City earlier this season will certainly give Hasenhuttl's side belief that they can claim another positive result on Saturday.

However, the Citizens have put together a remarkable run of form and it is difficult to predict anything but an away victory for the Premier League leaders.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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How you voted: Southampton vs Man City

Southampton
8.7%
Draw
6.8%
Manchester City
84.5%
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Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 7, 2022
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City37286396247290
2Liverpool37278291256689
3Chelsea372011674324271
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs372151164402468
5Arsenal37213135647966
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd371610115756158
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham371681359481156
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37156163740-351
9Leicester CityLeicester371310145858049
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton371115113943-448
11Brentford37137174754-746
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle371210154261-1946
13Crystal Palace371015124946345
14Aston Villa37136185051-145
15Southampton37913154263-2140
16Everton37116204261-1939
17Burnley37714163351-1835
18Leeds UnitedLeeds37811184078-3835
RWatford3765263375-4223
RNorwich CityNorwich3757252379-5622

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