Preview and Prediction
This is a season of anomaly, except for The Reds. On the top four of the table, the elite big five, including the champions two seasons ago, Manchester City has not been able to even approach big four as they are still stuck on the 8th of the standings. They will be facing a tricky test while travelling to St.Mary’s. Southampton is currently sitting on the third with four points above Pep Guardiola’s men.
The teams’ previous games
The Saints were involved in a tight clash against Arsenal. They managed to snatch one point in Emirates. Theo Walcott bagged an opener against his former club before Pierre Aubameyang pulled back on a level term.
Meanwhile, The Citizens were also held in 1-1 draw against the struggling West Bromwich Albion at home. Illkay Gundogan’s opener was in vain as Ruben Dias’s own goal denied their lead. They couldn’t even add up their tally despite a number of decent chances by Sergio Aguero, Gundogan again and Rodrigo.
Ralph Hassenhutl is likely to employ 4-4-1-1 as usual with Che Adams and Theo Walcott up front. Danny Ings could come off the bench to break the deadlock. They will be supported by James ward-Prowse who will anchor their attack in the middle plus Stuart Amstrong and Nathan Redmond outwide.
Pep Guardiola is still opting for his favourite 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Yet, he has to be careful on The Saint’s strike. Sergio Aguero might get a nod in the line up accompanied by Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres while in the midfield, Phil Foden will be operating rather deep to give space Kevin de Bruyne to lead their attack. Rodrigo will still be the defensive midfielder.
Players to watch
Southampton’s key figures in this season’s particular highlight are James Ward-Prowse, with four goals and three assists, their top scorer last season Danny Ings, the current top assist provider, Che Adams and the Danish defender Jannik Vestergaard.
In The Citizens, Kevin de Bruyne’s contribution has been dominant, as a top assists provider with ten assists in Champions League and Premier League. Another notable name to watch is Raheem Sterling with four goals and assists.
Southampton vs Manchester City Prediction
It is a perfect testing fixture for both sides. Ward-Prowse and Co need to prove that they can compete in the Champions League zone, whereas Pep Guardiola has to show better display to take improve their campaign. A win would be worthy, a great one certainly for Hassenhutl’s men who has never been able to win against the high profile team. Yet, the visitors have more solidity and experience in dealing with the same situation. A draw is in fact the best result for both sides.