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Manchester City vs Southampton – Premier League Match Preview

It is now 11 successive league wins for Manchester City as they brush aside all that goes before them, I say nearly because they only managed a draw at home to Everton on the second weekend of the season which when you look at the disparity between the two teams you almost wonder how that happened.

Tonight though they will look to make it 12 from 12 and also 14 Premier League matches unbeaten when they play host to a Southampton side who make the trip to The Etihad off the back of an impressive 4-1 win over the hapless Everton on Sunday.

For Manchester City the pressure will be on them slightly more than usual as again their crosstown rivals Manchester United have temporarily closed the gap to five points at the top of the Premier League. This is thanks to their 4-2 win over Watford last night.

It was the same scenario last weekend when United played a day before and won with City then having to do their bit to once again re-establish their commanding lead. They had to do it the hard way though as they were nearly part of a Huddersfield based Manchester double scalp.

After already beating United back in October, David Wagner’s men would have had every reason to believe that another shock result was in the air especially when Nicolas Otamendi put through his own net in first half injury team.

But ultimately City showed the desire which makes them title favourites and also the reason as to why they already have such a healthy lead at the top of the table. Sergio Aguero’s penalty minutes after the restart restored parity while Raheem Sterling’s late goal went on to break Huddersfield’s hearts.

That said it was nothing short of deserved considering that Huddersfield did not even have a shot on goal throughout the 90 minutes and you have to say that Southampton’s win over Everton was nothing short of deserved either.

Going into the game with Everton, Mauricio Pellegrino’s men had only scored nine goals in their first 12 matches of the season, an average of 0.75 goals per game. That goal average is now looking a lot healthier after their four goal tally at the weekend.

They have now scored 13 goals in as many Premier League matches this season while victory brings an end to three previous matches without a win. Not only that but it also gives them some relative breathing space between themselves and the drop zone.

Southampton’s main issue has been a lack of firepower that has been none too apparent in their defeats to both Burnley and Liverpool but after Charlie Austin’s headed brace of goals you get the feeling that their might just be some light at the end of the tunnel.

For all the chances that Southampton make they are struggling to put the ball away with the regularity that the creativity deserves. They are the fourth least efficient team in the Premier League this season, requiring an average of 13 chances per goal scored.

Thankfully though they are not giving away too much at the back, with only 15 goals conceded this season this can just about mask any deficiencies they may have in the attacking third of the pitch. To be honest it is the same situation as last season albeit in a slightly lower league placing.

It’s been a solid if not spectacular start to Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton career, but a third of the season is perhaps too early to judge him. Then again you only have to look at the plight of Frank De Boer early in the campaign to see how ruthless this business can be if you do not deliver results.

Can they deliver a result tonight, to be honest I cannot see that being the case. That’s no disrespect to Southampton but as of right now no-one is going to The Etihad and getting out alive. I can see this one being another home win for Manchester City.

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