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Verdict: Southampton double chance

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to cause a real upset this weekend, a high-flying Southampton welcome Manchester City to St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

Southampton

Starting with the hosts, while Southampton would have been disappointed to have only picked up a point away at a 10-man Arsenal earlier in the week, the Saints have continued on a real Premier League romp this season. Although Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men might have opened the 2020/2021 campaign with back-to-back defeats against Crystal Palace and Tottenham, the one-time RB Leipzig boss has seen his side bounce back in remarkable fashion. Now losing just one of their last 11 top-flight contests and with the mood in their camp likely to still be at a real high, fans around St. Mary’s find their side opening up the weekend fixtures sat as high as third in the table. Dreaming of mounting a legitimate European charge on the South Coast, Southampton have also largely impressed with their performances on home soil. Bouncing back from that dramatic collapse against Manchester United when drawing a close to November, it should be noted that Saturday’s hosts have collected 12 points from their last five Premier League matchups at St. Mary’s.

Team News

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl can select from a full-strength squad for the visit of Manchester City.

Midfielder Oriol Romeu is one booking away from incurring a suspension.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while Manchester City might have played out their own 1-1 draw earlier in the week, Pep Guardiola would have been far from pleased by his side’s display at the Etihad. Watching early-season relegation scrappers West Brom come from behind and grab a stunning draw on their travels, the former Premier League champions have failed to set the division alight so far this year. Although the former Bayern Munich boss might have seen his side breeze their way to the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League in routine fashion, the Sky Blues find themselves sat all the way down in ninth and desperately trying to make up some ground. Already dropping points against the likes of West Brom, West Ham and Leeds so far this season, Saturday’s guests have now managed to win just a pair of their last six Premier League matchups on the bounce. There is no doubt that Guardiola will also have a real headache over his side’s recent issues in the final third. Despite their clinical reputation, City have failed to bag more than a single strike in eight of their last 10 top-flight appearances.

Team News

City’s all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero missed a training session in midweek because of another injury niggle and he may not be risked.

Defender Eric Garcia remains absent and is set to miss the Christmas programme with a muscle injury, while Oleksandr Zinchenko is also still sidelined.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides last faced off at St. Mary’s back in July, Southampton picked up a 1-0 victory.
  • Manchester City have won just a pair of their last six Premier League matchups.
  • The Sky Blues have also managed to win just one of their last five top-flight matchups away from the Etihad.
  • Southampton have collected 12 points from their last five Premier League matchups at St. Mary’s.
  • Saturday’s guests have failed to bag more than a single strike in eight of their last 10 top-flight appearances.

Conclusion

While Manchester City might make the trip to St. Mary’s as a standout pick with the bookmakers, there is no doubt that Southampton will be smelling a chance to cause a real upset on home soil. Opening up the weekend fixtures sat as high as third in the table and losing just one of their last 11 top-flight contests, the Saints have also largely impressed with their performances on the South Coast. Picking up a 1-0 win when they hosted the Sky Blues from behind closed doors back in July, it should also be noted that Pep Guardiola’s side have remarkably managed to win just one of their last five Premier League matchups away from the Etihad.

Verdict: Southampton double chance

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmaker: Unibet

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December 18, 2020
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