Manchester City v Southampton predicted line-ups

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero

Will Sergio Aguero start as City and Southampton meet in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City square off against Southampton in the Premier League in what could be a fascinating encounter on Sunday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium.

After winning their opening six league games, Pep Guardiola's men have encountered somewhat of a blip and are now without a win in four in all competitions.

The Citizens' latest defeat came in the shape of a humbling 0-4 loss at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, as Guardiola returned to his former club FC Barcelona.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

In contrast, Southampton are in a rich vein of form, despite a tough loss to Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday.

Claude Puel's men have won four of the the last five league outings. The Saints' late concession to Burnley at St. Mary's last Sunday was the first goal they had conceded during six games across the board.

The Saints also have one of the English top flight's most in-form marksmen in Charlie Austin. After a spell of injury and adaptation on the South coast, the former QPR striker has notched four goals in as many domestic encounters.

Southampton's Charlie Austin scores their third goal with a penalty

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero has suffered poor form for Argentina, which has seen some fans back in his homeland call for the striker be left out completely. 

Guardiola has been ruthless with his Argentinian hitman since, dropping the 28 year-old to the bench versus Everton last weekend, despite having scored five league goals this season already.

The biggest problem for Aguero and indeed Guardiola's side continue to be their well-documented penalty maladies.

Everton's Maarten Stekelenburg saves a penalty from Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne

The Citizens have now missed four out of eights penalties awarded this term, with both Kevin de Bruyne and Aguero missing their respective spot kicks last time out.

When the sides last met back in May, a Sadio Mane hat-trick led The Saints to a 4-2 win. Southampton however, have not beaten Manchester City on the road since 2004.

The hosts' injury list is easing with just three absentees ahead of this weekend.

With right-back Bacary Sagna still out and with Pablo Zabaleta a major doubt after a toe injury sustained in midweek, Guardiola may deploy John Stones in their stead.

Fabian Delph is the only other name missing for Manchester City, with a muscle injury, whilst Aguero is expected to return to the starting line-up. 

Here is how Manchester City could line up:

                                                          

Meanwhile, Southampton are expected to make a number a changes to the side that lost at the San Siro to Inter Milan.

Four of The Saints' full-backs are a doubt. Ryan Bertrand could make a return from a hamstring injury, but his alternative Matt Targett is struggling, also with a hamstring complaint. 

If both are ruled out, Sam McQueen should make his first league start of the campaign. On the other flank, Cedric is also a doubt with the foot injury that forced the Portuguese off versus Burnley last weekend.

Nathan Redmond should recover from a slight knock that saw him miss the loss in Milan, but Shane Long is definitely out with a leg injury. Defender Jérémy Pied is a long-term absentee.

Here is how Southampton could line up:

                                                         

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