Manchester City could briefly become the Premier League leaders if they see off Southampton at home on Saturday. The Citizens will walk into the pitch as the second-placed league in the team, while Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton are two steps above the drop zone.
Manchester City had a great preparation for the Saturday clash with Southampton as they blew away Copenhagen 5-0 in the Champions League. Erling Haaland, who has already been touted as one of the best Man City transfers of all time, scored a brace before getting subbed in the 46th minute. Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez also hit the target for City.
The defending Premier League champions enjoyed another goal-fest a few days earlier than their Copenhagen match as they cruised to a 6-3 Manchester derby victory against Manchester United. Pep Guardiola’s side are now the only Premier League team who are yet to taste defeat in the 2022/23 season. Their last defeat came against Tottenham Hotspur in February. Since then, Man City have been ruthless in the Premier League.
Southampton fell to their third consecutive Premier League defeat when they lost away at Everton. Joe Aribo, one of Southampton’s summer recruits, had silenced the Goodison Park crowd to put the Saints ahead. But the hosts kept their cool and came back to the game through Conor Coady only three minutes later. Dwight McNeil turned the scoreline on its head nine minutes after the break. Southampton had 22 attempts at the opposition goal, but they could not get their way past Jordan Pickford more than once.
Manchester City will be without Kyle Walker for a long time, as the England international has undergone a groin operation. John Stones and Kalvin Phillips are also ruled out of the match. Rodri could not feature against Manchester United, but he could be fit to take on Southampton. Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden are likely to return to the first XI after sitting out City’s midweek European outing.
Ralph Hussenhuttl is likely to rely on a 4-4-2. Joe Aribo and Stuart Armstrong could be the wide attacking outlets as Sekou Mara and Joe Aribo lead the line.
Southampton are in desperate need of a win, but it’s unlikely that they will find it at the Etihad. They did not win away at Manchester City since 2004, and it seems even more implausible now, considering the massively polarized forms of these two teams. So, we will put our money on another comfortable Man City win. The final score could be 3-0 in favour of City.