Southampton vs Manchester City is an intriguing clash at St Mary’s on Saturday (watch live, 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) as the runaway Premier League leaders head to the south coast.
On paper this should be a routine win for Manchester City but they did draw at home against Southampton earlier this season and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have caused Pep Guardiola’s superstars plenty of problems in recent battles. Southampton come into this game sitting in 12th place in the table and they aim to push for a top 10 finish in the second half of the season. Chelsea loanee Armando Broja is their main man up top and captain James Ward-Prowse is in incredible form in midfield. Saints have improved defensively this season and they’ve lost just one of their 10 home games at St Mary’s. They will need a heroic defensive display and a JWP special to get anything this time.
Manchester City come into this game after a big win at home against Chelsea last week, which basically ended Chelsea’s title hopes and City sit 11 points clear at the top of the table heading into this weekend. Guardiola knows that Liverpool (who have a game in-hand) will push them all the way but after 12-straight PL wins, City are in imperious form. City aren’t as free-scoring as they’ve been in previous seasons but they’re so solid defensively and Kevin de Bruyne is back to his very best as he dominates games. Right now it’s tough to see when Man City are going to drop points, let alone lose a game.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Southampton vs Manchester City.
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Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
Hasenhuttl has some injury issues to deal with as teenage right back Valentino Livramento continues to battle back from a persistent knee injury, Will Smallbone out with a calf problem and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is stepping up his recovery from a hamstring issue. Mohamed Elyounoussi and Theo Walcott were missing for the loss at Wolves last week due to recent positive COVID-19 test results. Moussa Djenepo is away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Mali. All of that means that Hasenhuttl is likely to line up with a very similar team to last week, but Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong and Jack Stephens could all come in to the starting lineup.
Saturday night starters ✨
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 22, 2022
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
Guardiola has rotated his squad expertly so far this season but we may not see that many changes for this clash as City have had an entire week to rest and won’t play again in the PL until Feb. 9. Nathan Ake, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Cole Palmer all have knocks, while Riyad Mahrez is at AFCON with Algeria. Liam Delap remains out with a long-term ankle injury. Many expect Ruben Dias to return for this game, while Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho could all be rotated into the lineup.
📋 TEAM NEWS 📋
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias (C), Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Foden, Grealish
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 22, 2022