Ahead of the home clash with Southampton, we speak to our sister site Read Southampton to get the lowdown on Ronald Koeman’s side.
How would you sum up Southampton’s start to the season?
Inconsistent. Despite being unbeaten away from home all season; home form has been far too inconsistent. Nowhere near the standard of last season, but still in the top ten in the league, so not too many complaints from fans.
A fair few changes from the side that did so well last season. How well have the new players settled in?
Some better than others, Schneiderlin and Clyne were the two huge losses (Alderweireld not joining as well) but Clasie and Cedric look to be quality replacements for those two as well as Van Dijk. The Dutchman has been one of the best signings in the Premier League this season in my opinion.
However, players like Martina and Juanmi have yet to settle in. Overall, it was a good window for Southampton.
There was a big victory at Chelsea earlier in the season where Southampton utterly deserved the win. Will they adopt a similar approach at the Etihad, having seen City’s defensive frailties?
Possibly, but with Pelle’s absence, the play style will obviously change as Shane Long is a completely different type of player. Balls in behind the City defence is likely to be the option more often than not, as opposed to the long ball up to Pelle that was used so well against Chelsea.
Which City player do you fear the most?
Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, Can’t pick one of them. They both thrive off each other and if Aguero had been fit all season, he would be way ahead of Vardy for goals, I am sure. De Bruyne can create chances out of nothing and Aguero can score goals out of nothing. Both unplayable at their best.
Which Saints player do you think could cause City some serious problems?
Most would say Sadio Mane but he has been off colour in recent weeks. I would say Dusan Tadic. The Serb has been superb this season and is a threat for goals and assists. Against Sagna on the left wing; he could cause a lot of havoc for City.
How big of a blow is the fact that Graziano Pelle will miss the game through suspension?
Big, but then if he had of been booked tomorrow, he would have missed the quarter-final next week against Liverpool so it could be a blessing in disguise. Regardless, I really rate Shane Long and think he will prove he has what it takes to play as a central striker for Southampton tomorrow.
Finally, can we get a score prediction from you?
Going for an optimistic 1-1 draw. Goals from Aguero and Long.