Preview: Manchester City v Southampton

Manchester City will be hoping to end a poor run of form with a win over an in-form Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Premier League
23 October 2016
Match Day 9
Kick-off: 20H30 HKT
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Manchester City 61 22 17 22
Southampton 61 22 17 22

Previous encounter:

Southampton 4-2 Manchester City 01/05/16 (Premier League)

Southampton goalscorers: S. Long (25′), S. Mane (28′, 57′, 86′)
Manchester City goalscorers: K. Iheanacho (44′, 78′)

Players to watch:

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Manchester City striker Sergio Auguero sat out against Barcelona but is expected to be restored to the starting line-up as Guardiola looks to get a first win in four games.

Not too many players emerged from their Barca test with too many plaudits, but Kevin de Bruyne remains deadly for City while Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho will provide a stern test for the Southampton defence.

Virgil van Dijk has stepped up as a key man in defence for the Saints and will be key if the visitors are to keep out the normally free-scoring City.

The front three of Shane Long, Jay Rodriguez and Dusan Tadic have been performing well under new boss Claude Puel but will need to combine well if they are to make an impact at the Etihad on Sunday.

Team form and manager quotes:

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Manchester City are the Premier League leaders with 19 points from their opening eight games but come into this tie without a win in their last four games, having lost their first league match against Spurs before a 1-1 draw with Everton and a 4-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Saints were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Inter Milan in their European tie having beaten Burnley 3-1 in their last league tie that followed a win and two draws, leaving them in a respectiable eighth place with 12 points.

Ahead of this tie, City boss Pep Guardiola said: “I’m thinking about Saints. I watched the Inter [Milan] game – Saints played amazing. It will be tough, but of course we need to win again.”

Puel, meanwhile, added: “I managed against Pep early in his career and he has not changed his philosophy. But for us it is important to play our football and I think we can have a good game.”

Team news:

Pablo Zabaleta misses this clash with a foot injury along with fellow right-back Bacary Sagna who is hamstrung.

Shane Long (hamstring) is unavailable for Southampton, while there will be late fitness tests for full-backs Ryan Bertrand, Matt Targett (both hamstring) and Cedric Soares (foot).

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