Ilkay Gundogan has returned to training following a hamstring injury but is a doubt while Nicolas Otamendi is out with a tendon problem. Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne will be out for five to six weeks with knee ligament damage sustained in Thursday’s Carabao Cup win against Fulham.
Southampton has a fully-fit squad to choose from for the trip to the Etihad Stadium. Midfielder Pierre Hojbjerg is available having recovered from a recent illness.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@ConorMcNamaraIE: Two coaches with much in common, having played for Barcelona and managed Manchester City, but current objectives for Pep Guardiola and Mark Hughes are very different. By this stage last year City already held a five-point lead at the top, this season there is a more robust title race for Guardiola to deal with.
Meanwhile, Southampton are just two points above the relegation zone and are in danger of setting a new club record of six games in a row without scoring. Saints have only delivered six league goals in total this season. Sergio Aguero has scored that many by himself.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “I am impressed with the quality Southampton have in the middle and at the front. “They have huge talent and are so deep and so physical. It is so complicated to beat them. We must be sharp and move well and be clever. It will be a tough game.”
Southampton manager Mark Hughes: “There are always elements of any team that you can look to exploit, no matter how good they are.
“They [Manchester City] get into winning positions very quickly which we can’t let happen. They are going to have a lot of possession and we need to be patient and know when to press and when we can’t press.”
Saints kept a clean sheet against Newcastle and Bournemouth in their past two games, but stopping City’s attack is something else entirely. I cannot see it happening.
- City have won seven of their last nine Premier League meetings with Southampton, drawing one and losing one with an aggregate scoreline of 22-9.
- Saints are winless in their last eight visits in all competitions at the Etihad Stadium, drawing one and losing seven.
- City have won seven of their last eight matches in all competitions.
- They are the only team in the Premier League this season to have won their first five home games.
- Only Liverpool (one) have conceded fewer home league goals than City’s tally of two this season.
- They are looking to keep seven consecutive league clean sheets for the first time.
- Sergio Aguero is one short of becoming the ninth player to score 150 Premier League goals.
- Saints are without a win in their last six league matches, drawing three and losing three.
- They could set an outright club record of six consecutive top-flight games without scoring.
- Only Huddersfield (four) have scored fewer league goals than Saints’ tally of six this season.
- They have won just three of their 18 league games under Mark Hughes.
- Nathan Redmond has had a Premier League-high 19 shots this season without scoring.
Source: BBC News