Southampton v Man City Premier League betting preview and tips
This is not an ideal time for Manchester City to be travelling to St Mary’s. Pep Guardiola must have wished his team enjoyed a trip to Southampton when Mark Hughes was still in charge and unable to motivate the players as they looked like potential relegation material.
Now Ralph Hasenhuttl is in charge and everything has changed under the Austrian who arrived with a strong reputation and has already engineered December wins over Arsenal and Huddersfield to give the Saints a little breathing space.
The home side will adopt a positive and attacking approach against a team who are still marginal title favourites although a recent 3-2 reverse at home to Crystal Palace wasn’t just a dent in Pep Guardiola’s hopes of retaining the title but also shattered the cloak of invincibility that his team were wearing.
Southampton will regard this match as a bonus game against one of the best teams in the land and we expect an encounter with lots of goals, with the Saints having recently beaten Arsenal by a 3-2 scoreline thanks to three goals from crosses.
City should be a little more streetwise and perhaps Hasenhuttl still has to work on his team’s defending which has been profligate for most of the campaign, with Sergio Aguero nearing full fitness and looking capable of plundering goals again.
The champions have also been boosted by the return of Kevin de Bruyne and the Belgian can play a helping hand in providing a much-needed victory in this game, with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane providing the pace and trickery from wide position.
We can’t be confident that City will keep a clean sheet considering how open their defence has looked in recent games and we should expect John Stones to be restored to the back four or five after a brief dalliance in midfield.
Manchester City to win + BTTS @ 2.75 with bet365
33Matthew Robert Targett
23Pierre Emil Højbjerg