Premier League: Southampton vs Manchester City preview

Manchester City are looking to end their form crisis before the new year, they will be hoping to return to winning ways when they visit Southampton at St. Mary's on Sunday. The reverse fixture was played at the beginning of November and it produced a comfortable 6-1 victory for the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium with goals from Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Leroy Sane and a double from Raheem Sterling. That was the fourth consecutive win for Manchester City against Southampton, the Saints have not won a match against the Citizens since a memorable 4-2 home victory in 2016. Striker Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick in that match, now he plays for Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Southampton are not doing extraordinarily well under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, the German boss has led the Saints to three defeats and two wins since he has taken charge. It is true that his predecessor, Mark Hughes, had only won one match out of fourteen, but the Saints have lost at Cardiff and at home against Southampton under Hasenhuttl. Moreover, they have conceded in every match since the German has taken charge and have won against two out-of-shape teams, Arsenal and Huddersfield. Michael Obafemi is out injured, and Ryan Bertrand might miss out as well.

Manchester City are going through their worst period of the season so far, they have lost three of their last four league matches and have dropped to third place in the Premier League table. It all started with the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on December 8, then the Citizens seemed to have recovered with a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim and a 3-1 League victory over Everton, but then they needed a penalty shoot-out to get past Leicester in the League Cup and lost 3-2 at home against Crystal Palace and 2-1 at the Foxes on Boxing Day. Pep Guardiola will surely make some changes to his starting eleven, not only because of Fabian Delph's suspension but because of the poor performance of the team.

Probable line-ups:

Southampton: McCarthy - Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard - Soares, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Targett - Armstrong, Redmond - Ings

Man City: Ederson - Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko - Gundogan - B. Silva, D. Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling - Aguero

My prediction: Manchester City to win 3-1, the Citizens have enough strength to bounce out of their current crisis.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Southampton win - 11.00
Draw - 5.50
Man City win - 1.33

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