Manchester City v Southampton - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 5th April 2014 at 12:45. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Odds: Manchester City 1/3, Draw 9/2, Southampton 9/1

Last season: 3-2

Preview & injury news

The pressure is really on Manchester City now after they dropped points in a 1-1 draw away to Arsenal last weekend, which Liverpool capitalised on in the title race. City are currently four points behind league leaders Liverpool in third place with two games in hand, and will be looking to win here to ensure they are in pole position ahead of their clash with the Reds at Anfield. Prior to that draw against Arsenal, City's form had been very good having won each of their last four league games.

For Southampton, they currently sit in eighth place, six points behind Manchester United having won three of their last four games. They will be disappointed it's not four in four going into this one having thrown away a two goal lead to Tottenham Hotspur two weeks ago but they bounced back well with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Newcastle United, so they could prove to be very dangerous opponents for the title favourites.

On the injury front, there is still no word on when Matija Nastasic will return for Manchester City from a knee injury, meaning that Martin Demichelis is likely to continue alongside Vincent Kompany at centre-back. City have been waiting for striker Sergio Aguero to return and he may be on the bench for this weekend after he picked up a hamstring problem in the Champions League to Barcelona a few weeks ago. There is the possibility that Micah Richards may be available for selection again after a knee problem.

For Southampton, back-up goalkeeper Kelvin Davis has been sidelined for a while with a back injury, whilst the Saints are without Victor Wanyama and Nathaniel Clyne with calf and groin problems respectively. Maya Yoshida isn't expected to feature again this season following a knee problem.

Key stats

Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League this season:

Yaya Touré Man City MF 17 29 2,510
Sergio Agüero Man City FW 15 17 1,199
Jay Rodriguez Southampton FW 15 32 2,541
Edin Dzeko Man City FW 10 23 1,415
Rickie Lambert Southampton FW 10 31 2,338
Adam Lallana Southampton MF 9 32 2,614

Their average possession statistics: 

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Southampton 57.66 32
Manchester City 57.23 30

And the amount of clean sheets the sides have kept:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Manchester City 13 30
Southampton 12 32

5 players to watch

David Silva - Silva has been in very good form of late, and was the driving force behind City's recent good run. Southampton won't want to give the Spaniard too much space as he has the quality to punish the very best in the business. Can Silva keep up his good scoring run?

Adam Lallana - Every time Lallana seems to get a mention in the press it's either attached to his form that could get him a place in England's World Cup squad, or linking him with a move away from the Saints. He has hurt some of the best sides this season, so City will have to be on their guard as Lallana can pick holes in their defence if they aren't vigilant.

Yaya Toure - He's always one of the players to watch in the Manchester City team as he is the driving force in the midfield. City's top scorer is likely to be a danger for Southampton, but if the visitors can keep pressing him and not allowing him to find space they could have some joy.

Luke Shaw - If you look at the way Arsenal's equaliser came about against City last weekend then you can see that a full-back could have some joy if their final delivery is accurate. No doubt manager Mauricio Pochettino has mentioned this to Shaw as they look to exploit any weaknesses City may have.

Vincent Kompany - With Southampton also presenting a great attacking threat, it's going to be a tough afternoon for the City defence meaning that Kompany is going to have to be on the top of his game. If he does play to his capabilities then the visitors are going to have their work cut out having a mark on this one.

Earlier on in the season

Southampton 1-1 Manchester City, December 2013

Both goals came in the first half in what was a very evenly matched contest, as the scoreline suggested. The visitors started quickly and were awarded through a Sergio Aguero goal in the 10th minute. Aguero could have doubled City's lead after he fired over from close range, but Southampton grew into the game and got their equaliser shortly before the interval. Dani Osvaldo showed some great close control and finished brilliantly by putting the ball beyond the reach of Costel Pantilimon in the City goal, off the underside of the crossbar. Jay Rodriguez had a shot saved from Pantilimon in the second half before Osvaldo lashed over the rebound as the home side ended up looking the side more likely to win the game. 

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