After thrashing Liverpool last time out, Manchester City will look to continue their good form when they take on Southampton in the Premier League.
St. Marys Stadium, Southampton, England
Key Stat: Manchester City have won their last seven competitive matches against Southampton.
Expert Verdict: Manchester City spoiled Liverpool's title party in style with a crushing 4-0 win against the champions last time out and Pep Guardiola's side will be keen to send out more statements of intent between now and the end of the season. That starts with this game, despite Southampton's own good form.
Sofiane Boufal and Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg are both injury doubts with thigh and ankle injuries respectively. After a week off, Southampton might stick with the side that beat Watford last weekend, though Stuart Armstrong is pushing for a start and Jack Stephens is available again.
Danny Ings – Two more goals last time out took the striker to 18 for the season as he continues to lead the Saints line with aplomb.
James Ward-Prowse – Scored when these teams last met and netted another in the win at Watford – he has relished being back in central midfield.
Nathan Redmond – Famously ‘clashed’ with Pep Guardiola, who felt the winger – under team orders – was not exploiting his attacking talents enough. May have something to prove.
Southampton have won twice on their return to action, beating Norwich and Watford either side of a defeat to Arsenal. Danny Ings was among the scorers at Carrow Road and he scored twice more against the Hornets – James-Ward Prowse scoring the other in a 3-1 away win.
Defenders:Kyle Walker-Peters, Jack Stephens, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand
Midfielders:Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Stuart Armstrong
Forwards:Danny Ings, Shane Long
Fernandinho was suspended against Liverpool, but Eric Garcia’s performance may mean the Brazilian misses out anyway. Pep Guardiola may rotate players to keep them fresh, with David Silva, Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Riyaz Mahrez and Bernardo Silva among the options to start. Sergio Aguero is out injured.
Raheem Sterling – Scored one, set up an own goal and won a penalty as he impressed against his former team last time out.
Kevin de Bruyne – Completely ran the show against Liverpool to make a mockery of suggestions anybody else deserves the Player of the Year accolade.
Phil Foden – In excellent form since the season’s resumption, adding another goal to cap an excellent move in the win against Liverpool.
City’s defeat to Chelsea confirmed Liverpool’s title win, but they got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Newcastle in the FA Cup quarter-final. Kevin de Bruyne scored a penalty and Raheem Sterling added a second in that win. The two players did it again against Liverpool last time out, before Phil Foden added a third and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored an own goal in a 4-0 thrashing of the champions.
Defenders:Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy
Midfielders:Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne
Forwards:Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez
Sergio Aguero and Kyle Walker scored late on as City came from behind Southampton 2-1 earlier in the season – their seventh straight win against the Saints. James Ward-Prowse had earlier given Southampton the lead. City also beat Southampton 3-1 in the Carabao Cup this season, with Aguero scoring twice after Nicolas Otamendi’s opener. Jack Stephens pulled a goal back. Here are the results of the last five matches:
Nov 02, 2019: Manchester City 2-1 Southampton
Oct 29, 2019: Manchester City 3-1 Southampton
Dec 30, 2018: Southampton 1-3 Manchester City
Nov 04, 2018: Manchester City 6-1 Southampton
May 13, 2018: Southampton 0-1 Manchester City
Manchester City blew Liverpool away last time out to make a big statement, with Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all impressing.
All three have been in excellent form since the restart and that is very ominous for Southampton, who have lost their last seven in a row in this fixture.
De Bruyne’s vision and range of passing is key, and Foden has delivered goals and assists of his own since the restart too.
That they thrashed Liverpool and had Sergio Aguero out injured, while David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez were all on the bench is testament to their huge depth of talent.
Inconsistency has cost them this season, losing far too many games, but they have a chance to carry some momentum through to the end of the season now.
There is still an FA Cup and Champions League to play for, and every win keeps them on track for carrying that winning form to more silverware.
Southampton, for their part, have enjoyed two good wins since their return to action but they did lose to Arsenal in between.
Danny Ings will be their key man up front, but Manchester City are big favourites. As long as they avoid more defensive calamity, they can claim another big win.
Southampton vs Man City Recommended bets with odds
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City are big favourites for this one. They can be backed at a 1/3 to win with Ladbrokes and Betway.
Given their attacking form, over 2.5 goals is worth backing at a best price of 4/7 with Betfair and Betway too.
Kevin de Bruyne is on penalty duty and has scored plenty since City’s return. He is a best price of 21/10 to score at any time with Bet365, Betfair and Paddy Power.
Raheem Sterling is 13/10 with 888sport and, given his recent form, Phil Foden might be worth backing at 3/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair too.
Southampton have looked good themselves on their return, but the Saints are big outsiders for this one. If Manchester City continue their winning form, they could rack up another big win.