Southampton have lost their last seven matches against Manchester City and will hope to end the bad streak when they take on Pep Guardiola’s side at the St. Mary's Stadium on Sunday, 5 July 2020.
Their last victory over Manchester City was on 1 May 2016 when the Saints won 4-2 at home, with Sadio Mane bagging a hat-trick. In fact, the 2015-16 campaign was a season to remember for Southampton, who managed to finish sixth in the Premier League, just three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.
Southampton Betting Preview
It was a rainy night in Southampton on 25 October 2019 when the Saints suffered a devastating 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City and they found themselves in the relegation zone, where Ralph Hasenhuttl's side spent a few weeks until they eventually emerged out and now they even have a chance to reach the top half of the table.
In fact, the nightmarish defeat to Leicester City has been followed by back-to-back defeats at Manchester City (for the League and League Cup) within a few days only.
Remarkably, The Saints did extremely well during the busy festive schedule around Christmas and New Year (between 21 December and 11 January) when they've won five of the six games they had in all competitions and have not lost one.
The Saints have won two of their three matches since the beginning of Project Restart and are 14th in the table, having already reached the 40-points mark, which is usually enough to guarantee safety. Ralph Hasenhuttl's side are five points behind Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley, who are 9th and 10th respectively, so a positive outcome against Man City could inspire optimism that they could possibly climb to the top half.
Southampton have suffered back-to-back home defeats to Newcastle and Arsenal, before and after the break, failing to score in either game. All in all, Southampton have the worst home record in the Premier League, which they compensated with an outstanding away record (fifth best in the English top-flight).
Indeed, the Saints have won the majority of their points away from home – 26 out of 40 – including last weekend's 3-1 victory at relegation-threatened Watford.
Southampton have the third worst defensive record in the League (conceding 55 goals in 32 games), but on the other hand, they have scored 41 goals, which is the best attacking record among teams outside the top nine. Besides, Ralph Hasenhuttl's men have scored more goals than seventh-placed Sheffield United, but their leaky defense has been the issue in most games.
Danny Ings has scored three goals since the Premier League resumed, including a brace against Watford last time out, and the England forward enjoys a prolific campaign that (18 goals in 32 EPL appearances) was the reason why Ings has been tipped to make it to England's Euro 2020 squad this summer, but he'll have to wait one more year, since the European Championship has been postponed for next summer.
Key midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who is linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur this summer, and backup attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal are both doubts for the home side, while Jack Stephens and Moussa Djenepo both completed their suspensions and are in contention to play.
Manchester City Betting Preview
Having already defended the League Cup trophy (2-1 win against Aston Villa on 1 March) and reached the FA Cup semi-finals following a 2-0 victory at Newcastle last weekend, while remaining in contention to reach the UEFA Champions League Final Eight in Portugal, The Sky Blues have plenty to look forward to from now on and could well finish with another triumphant treble of trophies.
Moreover, Pep Guardiola's side head to the South coast on the wings of a tremendous 4-0 victory over champions Liverpool, which was a proper response following their 2-1 defeat at Chelsea last week.
Though they kept a clean sheet against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, The Citizens have struggled at the back by conceding 33 goals in the previous 31 Premier League matches, which is probably the reason why they dropped so many points and are currently second, 20 points behind the new champions.
Raheem Sterling (13 goals in 27 EPL games this season) has finally scored his first Premier League goal in his ninth appearance against his former club, while Kevin De Bruyne broke the deadlock on Thursday to score his 11th league goal of the season. Furthermore, De Bruyne has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season (28), with the Belgium midfielder scoring 11 goals and assisting 17 in 30 appearances.
Phil Foden has been directly involved in 14 goals in his past 17 appearances across all competitions (six goals, eight assists), despite only starting 10 of those 17 matches. The 20-years-old Englishman has either scored or assisted in all of his four appearances since the beginning of Project Restart, including a goal and an assist against Liverpool in midweek.
Veteran Fernandinho is available again after serving a two-match suspension but Pep Guardiola could be tempted to stick with the same center-back pairing that brought the clean sheet against Liverpool.
Eric Garcia returned on the pitch as he recovered from a head injury he suffered in the 3-0 win against Arsenal in Man City's first match of Project Restart and the 19-years-old Spaniard could earn another start at Southampton on Sunday.
David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez will hope to start here and Guardiola will surely recall some of them, if not all, if he wants to refresh his squad.
City's top goalscorer Sergio Agüero will miss the remainder of the Premier League and FA Cup campaign due to a knee injury as the 32-years-old Argentine forward hopes to be back in August, even though Pep Guardiola indicated that the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash with Real Madrid could come too soon for him.
With Aguero's absence, Gabriel Jesus received another chance to lead the line but the Brazilian has been far from convincing and was subbed off in the 58th minute.
Meanwhile, winger Leroy Sane departed from the Etihad to join the German Bundesliga hegemon Bayern Munich.
Possible Starting Lineups of Southampton and Manchester City
Southampton: Alex McCarthy – Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens, Ryan Bertrand – Stuart Armstrong, James Ward-Prowse, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Nathan Redmond – Danny Ings, Shane Long. (4-4-2)
Manchester City: Ederson – Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Kyle Walker – David Silva, Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne – Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez. (4-3-3)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Both sides have scored in each of their last four meetings (a total of 18 goals were scored) and considering they are free from pressure, we have all reasons to expect another entertaining encounter on Sunday.