Manchester City looks to bounce back from a shock defeat to their intracity rivals United in the Manchester derby on Sunday. They’ll try to do so with a Premier League fixture against Southampton on Wednesday night. (For our starting XI prediction go here)
City had their record win streak ended at the weekend which has reduced their lead at the top of the table to eleven points. Getting back to winning ways is what Pep Guardiola will be looking forward to when the Saints visit the Etihad.
The team news is looking good at the moment as there are no new injuries or suspensions to worry about. And with the return of Nathan Ake, the squad is nearing full fitness, great news for both the team and the manager.
We can expect to see a lot of rotation from manager Pep Guardiola for this game. This will be required so that the team is fresh and doesn’t get burnt out. We are likely to see players such as Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero featuring.
Southampton are a strong team that are capable of getting a positive result, so City need to be careful. Their intense pressing style can cause problems, but the hosts have enough quality in their team to bypass that and get to the goal.
The hosts must put the defeat at the weekend behind them and focus on the match ahead. They still have a healthy lead in the table and must look to improve that. This would also work as a wakeup call for Guardiola that his men are not invincible yet.
A lot of the players looked bereft of ideas on Sunday and that needs to change for them to win on Wednesday. The onus of doing this will fall on the midfield as they will need to have a bigger say than anybody else in the game. If this happens, the Saints will find it very difficult to keep a clean sheet.
Manchester City have had a great season so far, so they must not let one result derail them as there are still quite a few games left to be played.
Southampton have some quality in their team, but it will not be enough to prevent City from winning.Follow paulmbanks