Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side host Southampton in what is a must win game for the Citizens if they are to keep up the heat on fellow title contenders Liverpool, in the 12.45 kick-off on BT Sport.
City have been solid at home all season, losing just one in 14 at the Etihad to a well-organised Chelsea side, who nullified the threat of Yaya Toure and David Silva; if Mauricio Pochettino’s side are to put points on the board this weekend, they will have to look at trying to nullify this particular duo yet again.
Although, Manchester City will have to try to counter the threat of the Southampton forward trio of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, who have 34 goals between them, out of a total of 49 goals from Southampton throughout the Premier League season.
Sergio Aguero, Matija Nastisic and Micah Richards are still out for the hosts; while Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Wanyama look set to miss the trip to the Etihad for the Saints.
- Eden Dzeko has two goals in three Premier League matches against Southampton.
- Manchester City, alongside Liverpool, have scored the most Premier League goals at home this season – (48)
- Southampton have lost on their last two visits to the Etihad Stadium.
- David Silva has created 73 chances for his team-mates this season.
- Southampton have kept three clean sheets in their last five away Premier League games.
David Silva and Adam Lallana
These two playmakers have been in excellent form this season, but it can be argued the latter has been more successful in regard to the deserved acclaim he has received this season, with many pundits and journalists alike calling for Roy Hodgson to start the Southampton captain in the World Cup in Brazil this summer; while David Silva may struggle to nail down a spot with the sheer amount of creative players Spain currently possess.
In 31 games, Adam Lallana has scored nine goals and created six goals for his side; while boasting an average of 44 minutes per chance created (59 total chances created.)
Adam Lallana is a much more direct player than David Silva, attempting more dribbles (111 vs 34) more crosses (141 to 93) and more shots (41 to 27), and with Gary Neville suggesting the Southampton playmaker can play all along the front three, it seems that the England coaching staff rate the 25-year old highly.
While Lallana may be a more direct player, David Silva is only behind Luis Suarez (75) and Eden Hazard (87) in terms of chances created, despite the Spanish midfielder playing just 21 Premier League games, compared to Suarez’s 27 and Hazard’s 31 respective appearances.
In terms of the crossing statistic mentioned earlier, while Lallana has made more crosses, Silva has delivered more crosses accurately in to the box with a 33% crossing accuracy compared to Lallana’s 23%.
Silva has created more clear-cut chances (10) compared to Adam Lallana’s (4) – arguing that while Lallana may have a more direct approach in terms of dribbling and shooting, Silva is more subtle with his creativity, often drifting in between the lines picking up spaces that defenders and midfielders find difficult to mark.
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher noticed the impact of number 10s in the modern-day football era compared to the number 10s of twenty years ago, and both recognised that the current crop of number 10s such as Santi Cazorla and Oscar do not do enough for their position. Nevertheless, it can be argued that David Silva and Adam Lallana are starting to buck that trend, as to be considered as a brilliant number 10 player, you need at least 12-15 goals, which Lallana could be on track for.