Manchester City Vs Southampton: When Manchester City hosts Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, they might briefly overtake Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.
The Saints are currently in 16th position, one point above the relegation zone, while the Citizens are currently in second place, one point behind league leaders Arsenal, who play Liverpool on Sunday.
Man City defeated Copenhagen 5-0 at home in the Champions League on Wednesday night to extend their unbeaten streak in all competitions to five games.
There were no prizes for guessing who broke the score at the Etihad, as Erling Braut Haaland scored twice in the space of only seven minutes to raise his incredible season total to 19 goals after just 12 games across all competitions.
City led by three goals before halftime thanks to an own goal, and goals from Riyad Mahrez (scoring on his 200th appearance for the team) and Julian Alvarez helped the home team win easily and keep their perfect record in Group G.
City’s entry into the knockout stages would be guaranteed with a victory in the rematch against Copenhagen the following week.
On Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s team will play in the Premier League again. They are the only team in the league to have eight games this season without a loss. The Citizens are, understandably, in a good mood, but they will be alert to any threat that Southampton, their next opponent, might present.
Manchester City Vs Southampton: Head to Head;
Both of City’s top-flight matches against the Saints ended winless last season; they first played to a rare goalless draw at home in September 2021 before drawing 1-1 at St Mary’s in January. However, in March, the Citizens won an FA Cup game at St. Mary (4-1).
Guardiola’s team has gone 15 games without a loss at the Etihad in all competitions since losing 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur at home in February, scoring an impressive 54 goals in the process.
They will be heavy favorites to continue this streak on Saturday against Southampton team that is out of sorts.
When Southampton lost 2-1 to Everton at home the previous Saturday, it was their third straight Premier League loss and fourth in five games.
Four minutes after halftime, Joe Aribo gave the Saints the lead, but Conor Coady quickly tied the score before Dwight McNeil gave the Toffees the advantage in the 54th minute.
Only Arsenal and Man City had more shots than Southampton (22) in the round of games last weekend, but the Saints lacked creativity in the final third and left St Mary’s without a win.
To avoid slipping into the relegation zone, Hasenhuttl and company must swiftly go back to winning ways, but their odds of success on Saturday are small given both their opponents and their road performance.
Since a 3-1 triumph in April 2004, Southampton have lost all 11 of their Premier League games played at the Etihad, and in 45 away league games against top-flight champions, they have won twice.
The Saints have struggled to keep clean sheets away from home as well, having given up a goal in each of their previous 18 away Premier League games, the longest streak currently in play and the longest streak the team has ever had in the division.
The Southampton team will at least have some confidence after last season’s scoreless draw at the Etihad, but they will need to put up another tough defensive performance if they are to keep Haaland and company quiet.
Manchester City Premier League form: DWWDWW
Manchester City in all competitions: DWWWWW.
Southampton’s Premier League form: WLWLLL
Southampton’s in all competitions: WLWLLL.
Man City will be without Kyle Walker (groin), John Stones (hamstring), and Kalvin Phillips (shoulder). Walker underwent surgery this week and now faces a tight window to recover in time for the World Cup.
After recuperating from a minor injury that kept him out of last weekend’s Manchester derby, Rodri might rejoin Guardiola’s starting lineup.
The Spaniard was not used as a replacement in midweek, but on Saturday, he might start in central midfield in place of captain Ilkay Gundogan.
After taking a midweek break, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden might also start again. Haaland, who was substituted against Copenhagen at halftime, is anticipated to start as the team’s primary striker once more.
In Walker’s absence, Joao Cancelo will resume starting at right-back, and Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte will compete with Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake for a spot at center-back.
Romeo Lavia, a former Man City academy product, and Southampton’s right defender Valentino Livramento are both still out with respective ACL and muscle problems, but the latter is getting closer to a comeback.
As many as three Man City academy alumni might play for the Saints this weekend, with Gavin Bazunu, Juan Larios, and Sam Edozie all vying for the starting spot against their old team while Lavia watches from the sidelines.
Stuart Armstrong and Joe Aribo might hold their positions on the flanks in Hasenhuttl’s flat 4-4-2 formation, which he utilized in all three of their matches against the Citizens last season.
Duje Caleta-Car made his Southampton debut last weekend, and he will be looking to keep Mohammed Salisu out of the center-back position.
Manchester City’s starting lineup might be;
Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Gomez, De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo, Foden, Haaland, and Grealish.
The possible lineup for Southampton;
Bazunu, Walker-Peters, Bella-Kotchap, Caleta-Car, Larios; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Aribo; Mara, and Adams are likely starters for Southampton.
Manchester City Vs Southampton: Prediction;
The Citizens now have a goal-hungry striker in the form of Haaland who is showing no indications of slowing down. Manchester City may have struggled to penetrate Southampton’s backline the last time they faced off on home soil, but Haaland might prove impossible to stop.
We anticipate the defending champions to easily defeat the Saints since Guardiola is expected to field a stronger lineup than the one he chose in midweek. Scoreline could be 3-1 in favor of Manchester City.