Manchester City host Southampton on Sunday in their last fixture of the season. The expectations have been so high at the club since the last few years that a 2nd place finish is believed to be a bad season for the previous champions. The club have been in rich form coming into this game, having won all of their last 5 fixtures. On the other hand, their guests for the evening, who are still in contention to finish a respectable 5th come into this game having garnered a measly 7 points out of the possible 18 in their last 6 outings.
French midfielder Samir Nasri has been ruled out for the season with a groin injury and midfield enforcer Fernando is set to join him on the sidelines on Sunday. The club doesn’t have any player suspended and it will be interesting to see if manager Pellegrini would like to give the non-core members of the squad a go against the Saints.
Southampton recorded an emphatic win against Villa last weekend and we expect Dutchman Ronald Koeman to go in with an unchanged squad. The club will be without the services of Forster, Osvaldo, Rodriguez, Schneiderlin and Tadic who are recovering from their respective injuries.
There have been 76 encounters between the 2 sides in all competitions and the Saints outrun the Citizens by an extra win, having won 27 games compared to City’s 26.
Manchester City’s last home loss to Southampton came in the 2003-04 season.
Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, YayaToure, Fernandinho, Navas, Lampard, Silva, Jovetic
Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Wanyama, Davies, Long, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Pelle
The magical Spaniard’s exclusion from PFA team of the year has come under scrutiny from fans and critics alike as he has had a good season with the Citizens. He has created a humongous 3 chances per appearance so far in the league apart from putting the ball in the back of the net on 12 occasions. His vision and seamless movement often tears the opposition apart and we can expect Silva to come up with another master class on Sunday. It does not matter who leads the City attack because Silva will remain at the heart of it and this approach has paid rich dividends to the club in the recent past. Southampton will be looking to disrupt his rhythm and reduce the spaces he can operate in, but Silva has shown time and again that he can deal with the opposition’s special attention.
The Senegalese striker comes into this game having entered the record books for the fastest hattrick in the league, beating the previous record held by Robbie Fowler. Mane has now reached the double digit mark for the goals this season and sits only 2 goals behind Pelle and would be keen to carry through the good form and beat Pelle’s tally of 12 goals in the league. Apart from that the midfielder has also been in creating more than 1 chance per appearance for the Saints. The 23 year old has shown ability to take a man on and beat him with his pace and he will be keen to get behind the City defence and cause them problems.
|2014-15||Southampton||0-3||Manchester City||Premier League|
|2013-14||Manchester City||1-2||Southampton||Premier League|
|Southampton||3-0||Manchester City||Premier League|
|2012-13||Southampton||1-1||Manchester City||Premier League|
|Manchester City||Southampton||Premier League|
The win against Villa came at the right time for the Saints. However, with the rampant form that City are in, it is unlikely that Southampton will be able to beat them away. We expect City to win this tie 2-0.