Friday, April 28, 2017

Could Southampton pull off a shock against Manchester City this weekend?

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 14 Apr 2017

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Claude Puel looks to be another good managerial appointment by the Southampton owners

Southampton welcome Manchester City to St Mary’s in Saturday evening’s Premier League meeting, in a game that could see the hosts pick up all three points given their superior form in recent weeks.

The Saints have proven hard to beat in their own backyard in 2017 and could capitalise on City’s slump this weekend, especially given they took a point of the Sky Blues at the Etihad Stadium in October.

Saints are the form side of the two

Claude Puel’s Southampton side are currently ninth in the Premier League table with 40 points from 30 games this season, coming off the back of four wins and a draw from their last half a dozen outings. The Saints have lost just once at St Mary’s in 2017 – Southampton 1-3 West Ham United in February – and have conceded just once in their last three games.

Puel also revealed influential duo Manolo Gabbiadini and Steven Davis will return for the Manchester City clash, further boosting Southampton’s chances of matching the Sky Blues. The two sides drew 1-1 earlier in the season too and City’s form has been poor at a time where they’re desperate for consistency so the home side will go into Saturday’s clash with confidence.

Manchester City still adjusting to life under Guardiola

Manchester City are fourth in the Premier League this season, four points clear of the sides outside of the Champions League places, but have picked up just one win in their last five games. The Citizens have picked up one point from their last two away outings, conceding four goals, and may struggle to contain Southampton as a result.

The visitors won’t ignore their attacking and expansive playing style which could see them at risk to the pace of the Saints on the break. Southampton can also play a more intricate style to open up their opponents and could expose City’s poor defensive structure in the process. Goals are guaranteed at both ends of the pitch and even manager Pep Guardiola admitted Southampton will test his side.

Southampton have the ability to press City high up the pitch and capitalise on defensive errors, while boasting high levels of industry to nullify the visitors’ attacking threat. A win won’t do much to change the Saints’ season but City have plenty to fight for. Nevertheless, Southampton are 15/4 to win against Manchester City in Saturday evening’s Premier League clash.

Can the Saints shock the Citizens?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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