Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Southampton


Verdict: Home win + both teams to score

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmaker: bet365

Red-hot Manchester City are already eight points clear at the Premier League summit and they will be after their 12th successive league win against Southampton. Their opponents finally showed some improvement to defeat sorry Everton and are now looking to move further away from the bottom three.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s debut season at Etihad Stadium was by no means a success, but the club management made the right decision to stick with the Catalan coach and are now reaping the rewards. Manchester City have been so impressive in the opening exchanges that they recorded 18 wins and 2 draws in first 20 games of the season, opening up an eight-point lead in the Premier League and easing off to a first place in their Champions League group. The biggest challenge now is to keep the rich vein of form for as long as possible, and the good news is that Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy is working like a charm at the moment. Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero have both been scoring goals for fun despite not playing every week, with Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling also contributing with some important strikes. Hard-fought wins over Feyenoord and Huddersfield Town are enough to suggest Man City have also learned how to grind out results, and there are no doubts they are now the team to beat in English Premier League. Even though Southampton have shown some improvement of late, they will struggle to match the red-hot Citizens.

Team News

John Stones and Benjamin Mendy continue to miss out, but Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva should be recalled.

Southampton

The past few years have proved to be quite difficult for Southampton, who are now paying the price for selling so many key players in recent years. The Saints have largely struggled under both Claude Puel and Mauricio Pellegrino, but there is still time for the Argentine manager to prove his credentials. The poor run of results finally came to an end as Southampton hammered Everton 4-1 on Sunday, with forgotten man Charlie Austin bagging a brace in his first start of the campaign. The former England international showed he deserves to be playing on regular basis and he is expected to get a prolonged run in the side. The promising performance of playmaker Dusan Tadic, who had been completely out of form, was another positive, so no doubts the Saints head into the Man City game in good spirits. Southampton managed to hold the Citizens to a 1-1 draw in the same fixture last season, but while we can see them scoring again, we seriously doubt they can put an end to Man City’s outstanding run of results in midweek.

Team News

Charlie Austin should again be preferred to Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini, while Oriol Romeu returns from suspension and Matt Targett is out injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Man City won six of last seven home games vs Southampton (D1)
  • Both teams scored in nine of their last twelve meetings
  • Man City scored 2+ goals in six of last seven matches vs Saints
  • Charlie Austin scored a brace on his first start of the season
  • Man City won last 11 Premier League fixtures

Conclusion

Manchester City have been on fire of late and we don’t believe their excellent run will end against Southampton. However, with revived Tadic and Austin in the side, we do expect the Saints to score at Etihad and make the game a bit more interesting.

Verdict: Home win + both teams to score

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmaker: bet365

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