Manchester City v Southampton Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
October 31, 2018
Etihad Stadium - Premier League
Manchester City 's win over Tottenham on Monday ensured that they champions remain top of the league, as they await Southampton's visit this weekend. The Saints are without a win in six games and a loss to City could see them drop into the relegation zone.
Despite Manchester City's overwhelming superiority, it took a 93rd-minute goal from Gabriel Jesus for the Blues to overcome Southampton when the sides last met. Likewise, the reverse fixture saw another extra-time winner thanks to Raheem Sterling, with Oriol Romeu having equalised Kevin De Bruyne's opener.
Ilkay Gundogan is likely to miss out, as the midfielder has been struggling with a hamstring problem in recent weeks, whilst Kevin De Bruyne may be rested having recently returned from injury. Having rotated heavily for the League Cup win over Fulham in midweek, Pep Guardiola is expected to return to a full strength line-up.
Mark Hughes is without Charlie Austin due to a shoulder injury, although the manager is unlikely to start two strikers this weekend anyway. Perhaps a bigger loss is Pierre Hojbjerg, who has thrived in central midfield this season, but is suffering from an illness that may keep him out of the game.
Manchester City v Southampton Preview and Predictions
City's win over Tottenham on Monday gave perhaps the biggest statement of intent that Guardiola's side are prepared to protect their status as Premier League champions. It was far from a vintage performance, yet an early goal from Riyad Mahrez was all it took to displace a resurgent Spurs side, playing on a pitch ruined from hosting an NFL game over the weekend.
The Saints, on the other hand, gave no such reassurances to their fans last weekend, as they failed to score for the fifth league game in a row. Following a quick start to the season, Danny Ings' goalscoring form has dropped off to the extent that Hughes may be tempted to hand Shane Long a start on Sunday. Whilst the team isn't scoring, it may well make sense to utilise the Irish forward's pace and willingness to defend from the front.
Southampton have struggled comprehensively against the bigger sides so far this term, with 3-0 defeats to both Chelsea and Liverpool not filling fans with confidence for this weekend's fixture. City seem to be scoring for fun at the moment, hitting five against Burnley recently, as well as a 3-0 away win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Sergio Aguero, far from resting on his laurels, has hit six goals already, whilst the form of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva ensured that De Bruyne's injury wasn't felt too harshly in Manchester.
Now that the Belgian ace is back, City have a wealth of midfield options, and Guardiola will be able to tinker with his side to his heart's content, creating the ideal combination to unlock Southampton's defence. Whether he continues with a 4-3-3 or has Gabriel Jesus join Aguero, the Saints are likely to be in for a drubbing this weekend.
Sergio Aguero to score first at 11/5
The Argentinian will have benefitted from a night off in midweek and will be keen to resume his goalscoring ways on Sunday.
Over 3.5 goals scored at 4/5
City are playing at home and have already scored three more goals than any other team this season.