Southampton vs Manchester City: Preview and Prediction


Southampton vs Manchester City this Sunday will offer the Saints a fantastic opportunity to prove their ambitions, in what has been a surprisingly impressive start given the preseason negativity.

A game in which neither team can afford to drop points?

Manchester City’s players have been urged by manager Manuel Pellegrini, to win the remaining seven matches in 2014 if they are to keep up with the consistent Chelsea, and have any hope of defending their Premier League title.

Team news:

Southampton will have to make do without long-term absentee Jay Rodriguez — who is reported to be a week or two away from returning — as well as James Ward-Browse, Morgan Schneiderlin, Steven Davis and Sam Gallagher all being minor doubts.

City players David Silva and Edin Džeko have a chance of returning to the squad from injury in time for the encounter, while the left back Aleksander Kolarov is likely to miss the game, and be sidelined for another week.

Key players: 

The reasons for the Saints’ success this season has been down to the outstanding performances in each department. In defense Nathaniel Clyne has forced his way into the England senior team with his bright start, helping his team to seven clean sheets. Dusan Tactic has been providing all the assists with seven to his name, further aiding his teammates with three goals. Fellow new signing Graziano Pellè has been a revelation, with some stunning goals already in his Southampton career.

More from Manchester City

The form Sergio Agüero is in is truly astonishing. 12 goals in 12 league appearances. 17 scored in just 18 in all competitions. I believe he’s up there with the best at the minute, perfectly demonstrated against Bayern on Tuesday with that fabulous hattrick. He always seems to be up for the big games, and while this may not have been viewed as one at the start of the season, it is a game just begging for him to steal the headlines once again.

Current form:

Southampton are currently sitting second in the league, yes you’ve read that correctly. They are the closest team to pacesetters Chelsea, trailing by six points, and are above thirdly placed City by two points, also boasting the second best goal difference with +18. The Saints did suffer a bit of blip — if you could call it that — against Aston Villa on Monday when they failed to make it five wins out of five, by drawing. However it is worth bearing in mind that Manchester City this Sunday will be the first real European quality team they will have faced.

More from The Top Flight

Off the back of that thrilling match against Bayern on Tuesday, City should be full of confidence, and believing that they can meet Pellegrini’s target of winning the remaining 2014 fixtures. They have managed two big wins already in November, against rivals United and the high flying Swansea. This encounter will however, certainly not be an easy test, and they have already suffered disappointment this season against the likes of Stoke City and West Ham.

Last five league meetings: 

Sat 05 Apr 2014 Man City 4 – 1 Southampton
Sat 07 Dec 2013 Southampton 1 – 1 Man City
Sat 09 Feb 2013 Southampton 3 – 1 Man City
Sun 19 Aug 2012 Man City 3 – 2 Southampton
Sat 01 Jan 2005 Man City 2 – 1 Southampton

Match prediction:

The Saints’ most recent win against City was back in early 2013 with that 3-1 home encounter, thanks to goals from Puncheon, Davis and an own goal from Barry. Southampton’s team has changed a lot since then, and so I think it’s fair to say, their ambitions. After such a positive start I don’t see any reason why this Southampton team can’t replicate the heroics of Liverpool last season and secure a Top 4 spot.

To win against this Man City team is a huge ask however, especially after their surprise midweek win against Bayern. It is their first meaningful challenge and I imagine they would take a point.

2-2. A highly entertaining draw.