Manchester City may still be six points off the Premier League leaders Liverpool, but they need to focus first and foremost on their own results if they are to catch up, starting with Southampton.
On the surface, the visit of the Saints on Saturday may seem the ideal opportunity to get another three points, but the Saints are desperate for redemption after City knocked them out of the Carabao Cup in midweek. Here’s how we predict City will line up…
Ederson is a certainty to start in goal and continue his impressive form of late. He’ll probably be shielded by Fernandinho, back from suspension, and John Stones, who was rested in midweek. Joao Cancelo is my bet to start at right-back after Kyle Walker played on Tuesday, while Benjamin Mendy is the only fully fit left-back option after Angeliño was struggling with cramp.
Rodri’s injury means picking the midfield is fairly straightforward for Pep Guardiola. Ilkay Gundogan was outstanding against Villa and will probably get a chance to replicate that here, while Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva will be fresh and ready to cause havoc in the Saints’ defence.
Raheem Sterling is the only forward who I’m sure will start, having missed the midweek game amidst an outstanding start to the season. On the other wing I’m leaning towards a start for Riyad Mahrez, having not started against Villa. Up front, I think we’ll see Gabriel Jesus, with Agüero being saved for the games against Atalanta and Liverpool next week.
That leaves us with a bench of Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Agüero with room for one young player. I’m going to guess at Eric García after he impressed against Southampton in the League Cup.
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