PREVIEW: Manchester City vs Southampton

Manchester City will be aiming to bring their four match winless run to an end when Southampton visit the Etihad Stadium in Sunday’s early kick off.

Pep Guardiola’s side were held to a draw by a resilient Everton last weekend and were beaten 4-0 away at Barcelona in the Champions League in mid-week.

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But getting back to winning ways against an in-form Southampton will be far from easy. Claude Puel’s team haven’t lost in the Premier League since they were beaten 2-1 away at Arsenal on 10th September and were comfortable winners at home to Burnley last weekend. They did, however, lose 1-0 to Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday night.

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As this infographic courtesy of Premier League stats aficionados KickOff illustrates, there’s very little to separate the two sides when it comes to their respective form over the last 10 games.

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Unlike his team in recent matches, City boss Guardiola was in scintillating form when he met with the media on Friday afternoon and the full press conference is a must watch.

Meanwhile, Saints’ manager Puel revealed he’s wary of the prospect of facing Guardiola’s City.

City were the 3-1 victors when Southampton visited the Etihad in November last year but the Saints got their revenge with a 4-2 win at St Mary’s in May. City do have a very good home record against the South East side, however.

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And City’s home form versus Southampton’s away form in recent weeks should give the Blues some encouragement going into the game.

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Predicted City line-up:

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Player to watch: Sergio Agüero

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If you’d suggested a few of weeks ago that Sergio Agüero’s days at City were numbered, you’d most likely have been laughed out of town. But a poor showing for Argentina while on international duty was followed by him being benched for City’s matches with Everton and Barcelona, fuelling rumours that Pep Guardiola isn’t too happy with the man who’s scored 11 times already this season. However, Guardiola moved to quell speculation in his pre-Southampton press conference, stating “I spoke with Sergio – he was very understanding and helped us from the bench. When Sergio decides to leave it will be his decision.” Assuming Agüero is reinstated to the starting line-up on Sunday, the perfect way to silence his critics and get his manager back onside (if, indeed, he was ever offside) would be to put in a virtuoso, goal-scoring performance. Vamos Kun!

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Southampton

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