Monday, August 20, 2018

Prediction: Southampton vs Manchester City

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

It’s do or die for Southampton in the final game of the Premier League season! They need to win against Manchester City to secure their berth in the Premier League next season, and even a draw would do the trick since they hold a three-point edge over Swansea. The problem? City won the league and have won 15 of their 18 away games this season. It looks like a complicated scenario for the Saints, no doubt about it. But at the same time, they need to prove they belong in the Premier League. Kick off is scheduled at 16:00 BST.

Southampton

The Saints could not have asked for a tougher test to end the season, as they will have to get at least one point against Manchester City to secure their top-flight status for the 2018-19 season. And if that wasn’t enough, the Saints have been the second-worst home team in the Premier League since they have compiled a W4, D7, L7 record in 18 matches, although at least they won in their last game at St. Mary’s Stadium (2-1 against Bournemouth). It looks tough considering the opponent, but So’ton are on a good run of results right now since they are riding a four-game undefeated streak thanks to two wins and two draws over that span. Their three-point differential over 18th-placed Swansea means they might avoid relegation even if they lose, but they shouldn’t get overconfident on that aspect. Will they manage to remain in the Premier League ahead of the 2018-19 campaign?

Team News

Southampton won’t have star centre-back Maya Yoshida due to a suspension.

Three other players are doubtful, though. Mario Lemina (thigh), Steven Davis (calf) and Jan Bednarek (head) will require a late-fitness test to determine their availability.

Manchester City

Manchester City have nothing to play for in this game… but that’s nothing more than the product of being the best team in the Premier League over the course of the entire season. Pep Guardiola’s men clinched the league title several weeks ago, and they are seemingly playing just to see how many goals they can score after already topping the 100-goal plateau (105 scored). Their recent form shows four wins and one draw in the past five matches, and in fact they have lost just one of their past 10 Premier League matches (W8, D1, L1). Even though their Champions League campaign ended being a major disappointment, there is no question that their Premier League season was quite successful and they will go down as one of the best champions in league history. And as champions as they are, they will try to end the campaign on a strong note with a win on the road.

Team News

Manchester City won’t have two of their best players available for this game.

David Silva (unspecified) and Sergio Aguero (knee) have both been ruled out. However, the rest of the squad is fit and available.

Key Factors to Consider

  • City have a 19-point gap at the top of the Premier League standings. A win here would allow them to break the record for the biggest differential for a champion in Premier League history.
  • Pep Guardiola’s men already broke the record for most goals scored in a Premier League season. They average 2.83 goals per game.
  • Meanwhile, Southampton average exactly one goal per game (37 scored in 37 matches). They have conceded 55, though.
  • Four of the last five games between these two sides have seen both teams scoring. The record during that span shows three wins for City, one for So’ton, and one draw.
  • The reverse fixture this season ended with a 2-1 home win for Manchester City. They won thanks to a stoppage-time strike from Raheem Sterling in the 96th minute.

Conclusion

Four of the last five games between these two sides have seen both sides scoring at least once.

Considering City’s scoring power and the Saints’ situation in the standings, I believe that outcome will happen once again.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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