Premier League leaders Manchester City will host mid-table Southampton at the Etihad this midweek, as they aim to extend their advantage at the top of the charts. This will be one of two games for Manchester City in their run-up to the huge Manchester derby game next month.
City head coach Pep Guardiola was delighted with his team’s excellent comeback against Huddersfield and also remarked that the comeback was more satisfying than a 4:0 win.
Southampton, on the other hand, will look to contain this magnificent Manchester City team as they aim to climb up on the Premier League charts. The Saints are currently 10th in the table but a win could potentially lift them above ninth-placed Brighton.
Here’s the predicted Southampton lineup ahead of their clash against the Manchester giants.
Matt Targett is the only defender missing in action due to an injury in otherwise a fully fit Southampton squad.
Fraser Forster will start in goal for Mauricio Pellegrino’s squad while the Saints will definitely opt for a centre-back partnership consisting of their star defender Virgil Van Dijk and new signing Wesley Hoedt. Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand, on the other hand, will start as fullbacks.
Southampton’s defence has been quite decent this season but they will need to be at their best if they are to stop the attacking onslaught from Manchester City.
Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu could get a starting berth in the team. The 26-year-old has been an ever-present figure in the Southampton midfield and his presence will be crucial against Manchester City this midweek.
New signing Mario Lemina will partner the Spanish midfielder in the centre of the park. The former Juventus player could be a massive creative outlet in midfield.
Elsewhere, Serbian attacker, Dusan Tadic could be given the role of a central attacking midfielder in this midweek clash. Tadic hasn’t been in the groove this season but a strong performance vs City could definitely lift the confidence of the 29-year-old.
Charlie Austin will lead the line for Southampton once again, after the imperious show at the St Mary’s Park against Everton. Despite failing to score in most of his matches this season, the former QPR striker bagged a brace against the Toffees last weekend and will be full of belief going into this game.
James-Ward Prowse, who has also played in the heart of the midfield earlier this season and Sofiane Boufal are expected to start as wingers for Mauricio Pellegrino’s men.
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