Whether Manchester City will have the same starting XI that played Everton last weekend, after they come back from a UEFA Champions clash on 20 October at Camp Nou Barcelona, remains to be seen. But fans would hope that Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne who have recovered from their injuries and make up a full-strength Man City will feature when the Citizens take on the visiting Southampton side at the Etihad stadium on Sunday, October 23. For Manchester City. it’s been a problem similar to what Tottenham faced in their encounter with West Brom on Saturday. Despite their 72 per cent the Citizens had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Everton. With Aguero, Silva, Nolito, De Bruyne and Sterling being all over the opposition goal-mouth, the Citizens could find the back of the net just once.
Claude Puel’s men have been doughty opponents and their only two losses from their 8 Premier League outings so far have been to Manchester United and Arsenal by narrow margins of 0-2 and 1-2 respectively. Charlie Austin will look to find holes in a Man City defense which still hasn’t been at its best since the exit of the injured Vincent Kompany. Austin has found the back of the net seven times from his last six outings for Southampton, which is one of the best individual performances for the club till date. Southampton’s 34 shots on goal against Burnley last week (which is the most they have achieved in a match since 2004) indicate a team on the ascendance. Southampton will probably retain the same side that beat Burnley 3-1 on Saturday last – Ben Forster (goal); Cuco Martina, Jose Fonte, Virgil van Dijk, Matt Targett; Oriol Romeu, Jordy Clasie, Steven Davis, Dusan Tadic; Charlie Austin, Nathan Redmond.
The last time these two teams met was at St.Mary’s stadium in May this year resulted in a 4-2 win for the hosts. Prior to this, the Saints had not won a single of the 10 encounters against City, in fact having lost seven of them. The last time Southampton had won at Manchester was in the 2003-04 season. But then, that was Man City without its Gulf riches. Against a City side, probably a bit weary from a potentially challenging mid-week outing against Barcelona, a confident Southampton side can hope to take their chances at the Etihad on Sunday evening. However the odds still overwhelmingly favor the Citizens as seen below.
Anytime Goalscorer, Aguero 5/6 @ Skybet