Liverpool pulled 10 points clear of City with a 5-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday, so a result on the South Coast is crucial for Pep Guardiola’s side
Manchester City will look to bounce back from three defeats in four Premier League games when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Liverpool extended their lead over the champions to 10 points with a victory over Arsenal on Saturday, so City need to turn their form around after back-to-back losses against Crystal Palace and Leicester City respectively.
Southampton on the other hand are aiming to put further distance between themselves and the relegation places, and will take confidence from the fact they beat the Gunners at home only two weeks ago.
||Southampton vs Manchester City
||Sunday, December 30
||2:15pm GMT/09:15am ET
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
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|US TV channel
||fubo TV (7-day free trial)
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be shown on TV on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, and can be streamed via Sky Go.
|UK TV channel
|Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
||McCarthy, Forster, Gunn
||Vestergaard, Hoedt, Stephens, Yoshida, Bednarek, Bertrand, Targett, Soares
||Lemina, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Armstrong, Davis, Redmond, Elyounouss
||Ings, Austin, Long, Gabbiadini, Gallagher
Mario Lemina could miss out for Southampton with a stomach problem and Ryan Bertrand remains sidelined with a back injury. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg returns from a one match suspension though.
Confirmed Southampton starting XI: McCarthy, Stephens, Hojberg, Targett, Bednarek, Ramsay, Romeu, Lemina, Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi, Austin.
Bench: Gunn, Yoshida, Valery, Redmond, Armstrong, Long, Ings.
||Man City squad
||Stones, Laporte, Otamendi, Kompany, Sandler, Mendy, Walker, Danilo
||Fernadinho, Gundogan, Delph, Zinchenko, Foden, D. Silva, Diaz, B. Silva, Mahrez
||Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Sane
Fernandinho was a doubt for the trip to the south coast, but he has been included in the starting XI, while David Silva features after coming on from the bench on Boxing Day.
Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo are long-term absentees and Fabian Delph is suspended, but Vincent Kompany is back in the first 11.
Kevin De Bruyne is missing from the squad, while Leroy Sane drops to the bench, allowing Riyad Mahrez to partner Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero in attack.
Confirmed Man City starting XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Silva, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Aguero.
Bench: Muric, Walker, Stones, Sane, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden.
Hosts Southampton are 10/1 to win the game with bet365 while Man City are favourites at 3/10, despite their poor form. A draw can be backed at 5/1.
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If City slip to a fourth defeat in five Premier League games then the pressure will really start to mount on Pep Guardiola’s side, and Liverpool will have a healthy lead going into the new year.
The knee injury sustained by Mendy and Delph’s sending off at Leicester mean that Oleksandr Zinchenko will get a chance at left-back, so that could be an area Saints look to exploit on the counter-attack as the youngster has made just two league appearances so far this term.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will have plenty of pace to hit City with, including the likes of Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong, while both Charlie Austin and Shane Long came off the bench in their last outing against West Ham.
Guardiola is confident of a result though, and insisted his players must not get distracted by the league table: “The less important issue is Liverpool, we have to think about Southampton,” the City boss said. “I don’t forget who we are, how good a team we are, how exceptional these lads I have in the locker room are.
“The reality is we have lost three in four games and the last two. If you want to be real contenders you have to win again. If you don’t, it will not be possible.”
Hasenhuttl meanwhile is expecting to face a City side at their best as they look to respond to Liverpool’s 5-1 win yesterday.
He said: “It’s not normal for Manchester City to lose two times in a row. We expect the most difficult challenge that is possible. If we want to keep something in St Mary’s we have to play a perfect performance.
“We have to be patient with what we expect from this team now after the two victories over Arsenal and Huddersfield. It will be a hard and long journey until the end of the season.”
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