Former Premier League champions Manchester City will be looking to keep their winning form going in the league when they travel to the St.Mary’s Stadium to take on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side on Sunday night. The Citizens are coming into this tie on the back of a sensational 4-0 thrashing of champions Liverpool in midweek, a fixture in which Jurgen Klopp’s men had been completely outplayed in every aspect by a rampant and determined Manchester City front-line.
Although the Reds have already been confirmed as champions, Guardiola’s men will be eager to finish the campaign strongly and send out a message to the Liverpudlians that they’ll be back again next year. The Sky Blues’ grip over 2nd place is reasonably solid now and barring a massive slip up against the smaller sides in the coming weeks, it’s likely that they’ll finish there. Southampton, on the other hand, currently find themselves in 14th place, although the presence of Danny Ings is sure to be giving Ederson some nightmares.
The only significant absence going into this fixture will be that of Argentine superstar Sergio Aguero. The veteran forward picked up an unfortunate injury a couple of weeks ago and has been ruled out of the current Premier League campaign.
Having travelled to Barcelona for surgery, the former Atletico Madrid man is sure to play no part in this tie. Elsewhere, Fernandinho has now completed serving the ban for the red card he picked up against Chelsea, meaning that he could return to the side as well. German speedster Leroy Sane’s departure to Bayern Munich has now been confirmed too.
Manchester City Predicted 4-3-3 Lineup Vs Southampton
Ederson Moraes has been one of the most dependable keepers in the entirety of the Premier League over the last couple of seasons. The Brazilian displays excellent reactions as well as ball-playing ability, meaning that unless it’s a cup fixture against a smaller club, Claudio Bravo doesn’t even get a look in. In front of him, expect Aymeric Laporte to continue as one of the centre-halves, with Brazilian veteran Fernandinho being deployed as his opposite number. Benjamin Mendy should retain his place down the left flank, while Joao Cancelo could come in to replace Walker down the right.
Kevin De Bruyne has gradually become an un-droppable part of Pep Guardiola’s team, meaning that his place in the middle of the park was never really in question. Alongside him though, expect the gaffer to make a change. First off, veteran Spaniard David Silva played no part in the win against Liverpool, and could hence be given the nod. German ace Ilkay Gundogan should be the other name that retains his slot in the team, with Spanish destroyer Rodri set to drop back down to the bench.
Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling were arguably the best players on the pitch in the match against Liverpool, but neither of them is expected to start in this tie against the Saints. The proximity of the two fixtures, added to the sheer intensity that was required against Liverpool, could tempt Guardiola to go in a different direction. Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva were both only introduced off the bench against Jurgen Klopp’s men, and could hence return to the lineup. Gabriel Jesus, being the Citizens’ only real striking option, should keep his place leading the City line as well.