Both Manchester City and Southampton are coming to this fixture to recover their form from latest defeats. City surrendered the top position of the league to Leicester City with a very disappointing performance against Liverpool at home, last week. They were thrashed 4-1, in favor of the away side, and they conceded 3 goals in opening half an hour. Meanwhile, Saints lost to Stoke city 1-0 at home last time. So both sides are aiming to get full points to move up the table. Manchester City will try to take the home advantage to regain the top spot where as the visitor try to reduce the gap between them in a very congested table.
Last time when these two teams met each other, it was the very last day of the previous campaign where City won at home thanks to two goals from Frank Lampard and Kun Aguero without any reply from the visitors.
Both teams are not a good form. Along with the thumping defeat in the hands of Liverpool, Manchester City has lost their Champions league match to Juventus by a solitary goal. They have won just one game in last 4 Barclays Premier League matches.
The Saints have a reasonably good start of the season sitting 8th with 20 points, 6 behind their opponent. Last week’s defeat actually ended their 8 matches unbeaten run in all competition.
Manchester City has a long list of injury as Samir Nasri, and Captain Vincent Kompany will miss this game, along with goal-keeper Joe Hart who suffered a hamstring injury in midweek fixture. Managala and Zabaleta are also doubtful. David Silva and Wilfred Bony may pass fit to play the game but may start in bench.
The away side will have no fresh injury concern but Jay Rodriguez. Gardos and Forster, who have been injured for a long time, will miss the game. They also miss their top scorer Graziano Pelle due to suspension as he picked his 5th yellow card last time out.
Probable Manchester City team: Willy, Sagna, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Sterling, De Bruyne, Navas, Aguero
Probable Southampton team: Stekelenburg, Cedric, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Classie, Wanyama, Tadic, Davis, Mane, Long
With current two table toppers Leicester and Manchester United going head to head, City has a good chance to go top once again if they pick up three points. The visitors can close the gap to 3 points between them if they get full points. But I think they will not go all out especially when their top scorer is out of the match. City is a better team on paper but has struggled recently in front of goal, scoring just 3 in last 4 premier league games. On the other hand, Saints has a very good defense. Still I believe Manchester City will win it and my prediction is 1-0 in favor of home team.
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Photo by Robert Hertel