Ralph Hasenhüttl will have had some sleepless nights this week. The Austrian head coach of Southampton faces the daunting challenge of welcoming the all-conquering Manchester City to St. Marys Stadium this weekend. Both sides find themselves amid some suitable form. Southampton has a proud 7 match undefeated run at St Mary’s.
That undefeated run faces its sternest test yet when they take on a Manchester City side who has won their last twelve games in a row. The last time City suffered defeat, it was Halloween. They have slaughtered all that has come before them since then.
Given Southampton’s proclivity for losing 9-0 in recent seasons, it should surprise no one that Hasenhuttl is having some sleepless nights this week.
Southampton vs Manchester City FYIs:
Kick-off time: 5.30 PM GMT, 22nd January 2022
Starting XI Prediction: go here
Premier League Podcast: go here
Form Guide (All Competitions): Southampton (WDWWL) Man City (WWWWW)
Now we have set the scene, let’s have a look at the old crystal ball to see how City will lineup in this one. Ederson will line up between the posts. Not only is he the best ‘keeper in the league (arguably the world), he has no actual competition for his position in the first-team squad.
I would be very shocked if he doesn’t take his place in the starting xi on the south coast.
The center of defense I am predicting will be slightly re-jigged. Ruben Dias will come into partner Aymeric Laporte as John Stones drops to the bench.
Stones wasn’t poor against Chelsea by any stretch of the imagination. I just think that Dias is the superior player and should get the nod if he is 100% fit.
Kyle Walker seems to be back in favor after his six-week absence. The Englishman will line up at right-back with Joao Cancelo taking his place at left full-back. Cancelo has been tremendous this season, in defense and attack.
Rodri anchors the midfield again. He gets the job done with minimum fuss and allows the players ahead of him in midfield to take more chances. The two ahead of him for this match will probably be Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.
De Bruyne seems to be returning to the world-class operator we all know he is after his battle with COVID this season. Silva is another who is having a brilliant 2021/22 campaign for Manchester City.
Phil Foden will play the false nine role once again. To his left, I am predicting Raheem Sterling with Gabriel Jesus lining up to his right in a formidable attacking triumvirate.
Jack Grealish drops to the bench after failing to seize the opportunity handed to him against Chelsea.
Prediction: This will be thirteen victories in a row for Manchester City. This could get embarrassing for Southampton.