Manchester City host Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN, 7:45 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra) as the Citizens aim to close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool.
City are four points behind the Reds, but crucially have two games in hand. However, just one slip up would mean that Manuel Pellegrini’s side will all of a sudden lose their favorite tag. Ominously, City have won 13 of their 14 home games in the Premier League this season and according to Opta they have a 62.78 percent chance of lifting their second PL title.
However Southampton represent a dangerous proposition for City, as Saints are in eighth place and are stacked with exciting young English talent. Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw are all surging towards the English national team and will want to put in another top performance to catch Roy Hodgson’s eye. They hammered Newcastle United 4-0 last weekend, and City only managed a 1-1 draw away to Saints earlier in the campaign.
In team news Manchester City are only missing Sergio Aguero, as they are near to full strength. Southampton are without first choice goalkeeper Artur Boruc, so youngster Paolo Gazzaniga starts in goal.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Silva, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Garcia, Milner, Jovetic, Negredo
Southampton: Gazzaniga, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert. Subs: Cropper, Clyne, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Hooiveld, Gallagher