Manchester City face Southampton in a rather easy league assignment at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Both sides are struggling at the opposite ends of the league table, and this game is arguably the most one-sided showdown in Premier League this weekend.
With 26 points from their 10 games, the Citizens sit in the top spot in the league table. They are yet to lose a game in Premier League this season, and they haven’t conceded a single goal in their last six games. This is certainly bad news for Southampton, who have failed to score in their last five games.
The League champions come into this game following a 2-0 League Cup win over Fulham on Thursday. Pep Guardiola rested a number of key players for the game against Cottagers, so one can expect a lot of changes to City’s starting eleven. One player who is not likely to be involved in the game is City start Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian suffered another knee injury on Thursday.
Southampton will travel to Manchester following back-to-back goalless draws against Bournemouth and Newcastle United respectively. The Saints haven’t been too shabby at the back, but they have continued to struggle on the attacking front. The South Coast side find themselves fighting against relegation for yet another season. They currently find themselves in the 16th spot, only two points clear of the bottom-three.
They have conceded only 14 goals in 10 games which is a decent figure for a team sitting in their position. Hence, we don’t expect them to suffer a thrashing at the Etihad, but they are very unlikely to find the net against the champions.
Since Southampton’s promotion to Premier League in 2012, these two sides have faced each other in 12 league meetings. The Citizens have been successful on eight occasions while the Saints have managed only two wins. City won both of their league meetings with their opponents with a 2-1 win in the corresponding fixture.
Manchester City Team News
As mentioned above, Kevin de Bruyne is not likely to play any part on Sunday. The likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kyle Walker and Sergio Aguero were not involved on Thursday, and all should feature in the starting eleven against Southampton. The likes of Claudio Bravo, Ilkay Gundogan, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala are also ruled out for the champions.
Danilo and Fabian Delph recovered from their respective injuries to feature against Fulham.
Southampton Team News
The Saints have looked decent at the back, and hence, we expect Mark Hughes to stick to the same defence. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Charlie Austin have been declared fit for the game.
A home win looks like a sensible choice in this game, but this outcome won’t provide any significant return at odds around 2/17.
Therefore, we have decided to back: