Southampton go into Wednesday’s clash with Manchester City on the back of a 4-1 thrashing of a beleaguered Everton at St. Mary’s on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s team meanwhile enter the match following their 2-0 disposal on Leicester City.
City supporters will be hoping for The Citizens’ seventh successive victory in all competitions at the Etihad Stadium against Mauricio Pellegrino’s side. It’s a case of continuing the momentum gained in the win against the Toffees for the Saints after recent defeats against Burnley and Liverpool.
Guardiola will look to out of favour Eliaquim Mangala to replace Vincent Kompany at centre half as the Catalan boss looks to manage his club captain’s recovery. Gabriel Jesus is also likely to make a return to the starting line up.
This is a prime opportunity for Frenchman Mangala to pin down a place in the starting XI having been out on loan at Valencia last season. John Stones is also sidelined through injury as is Benjamin Mendy.
Raheem Sterling will be in search of his 13th goal of the campaign and Argentine Sergio Aguero will be looking for a goal in seven consecutive games.
Pellegrino – who knows his opposite number well after winning La Liga together at Barcelona during the 1998/99 season – will surely keep Charlie Austin in the team after his two fine headers within six second half minutes against Everton at the weekend.
Matt Targett remains injured but midfielders Oriol Romeu and Mario Lemina will return from suspension and injury respectively.
Mauricio Pellegrino believes City are beatable but the last time Southampton won away at Manchester City was in 2004 where Kevin Phillips starred in a 3-1 triumph.
The Sky Blues could go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with a victory at Eastlands on Wednesday night. Never before have City won twelve league games in a row but they could break that record on Wednesday evening. Southampton meanwhile could go up to ninth place with an unlikely win.
The odds are stacked against Southampton who have just the one away triumph this campaign, a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Nevertheless Pellegrino is confident that Southampton can produce the unexpected.