Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: 29 November 2017
Referee: Paul Tierney
Kick off: 20:00
UK TV: Not on TV
Manchester City go into the encounter against Southampton on Wednesday night looking to make it not one, or two, but nineteen wins in a row across all competitions. Pep’s side have had a blistering start to the season and not only are they showing that they can dominate sides, but they are also showing the capability to come out with three points when the going gets tough.
City have fought to the bitter end in their previous two games, coming out with two wins courtesy of two late goals from the
shit Jordon Ibe Raheem Sterling. It’s a surprise that the world is yet to take note of Raheem Sterling and England really are missing out as a result of their constant scapegoating. Sterling is a player high in confidence and it really is a joy to watch.
The gritty wins are a sign of, dare I say it, potential champions. A second half fight-back against Huddersfield Town at the weekend meant the run is extended, and Manchester City will be looking to add to that figure against the Saints.
The Saints will come into the game with a resurgence in confidence after a 4-1 victory against league strugglers Everton on Sunday which ended a drab run of results, in which they managed just two wins in eight games.
Besides the obvious – Benjamin Mendy and John Stones – everyone appears to be fit for Wednesday night’s game. It’s likely that Gabriel Jesus will spearhead City’s attack after taking a place on the bench for the previous two games when Pep Guardiola favoured Sergio Aguero. There may well be a rest for Vincent Kompany as the club continue to take it easy after his latest injury comeback, which could see Eliaquim Mangala return to the starting line-up.
As for the rest of the team, it’s likely that Pep won’t want to rotate too much, with the team flying in confidence after another late winner. Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané played the full ninety against Huddersfield, however I am expecting them to retain their place in the starting eleven.
As previously mentioned, Southampton come into the game on the back of a 4-1 home victory against Everton, sending them into this game in high spirits. Charlie Austin was amongst the goalscorers and he could be the target man up top to watch out for.
The Saints sit firmly in mid-table with four wins from a possible thirteen and have conceded on average of 1.15 goals a game – could Manchester City boost that average? Time will tell.
Despite heading into this fixture on the back of a 4-1 victory, I can’t see Southampton getting much out of their visit to the Etihad. It’s likely that they will set up defensively, in a similar fashion to David Wagner’s side, but the overall pressure of City’s possession game is likely to cave them in. I’m going to go with a 3-0 victory, courtesy of yet another from Leroy Sané and a Gabriel Jesus brace.