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Southampton vs Manchester City: Match Preview and Predicted Lineups | Premier League 2018-19

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753   //    30 Dec 2018, 13:46 IST

Manchester City have been poor
Manchester City have been poor

Manchester City travel to the southern coast of England to take on Southampton in the Premier League. The defending champions' title hopes have been dealt a major blow after suffering two consecutive losses on the trot while the Saints also come into this game on the back of a narrow defeat against West Ham United last week.

Pep Guardiola's men look shaken and scarred, and what with the majority of them being out through injury, City's defence has looked very fragile. The omnipresent Fernandinho's absence from holding midfield has shown cracks where none were assumed to be. City have gone from being invincible to fallible within a couple of games.

Of course, Liverpool's rise has not helped the blue team from Manchester at all. Sergio Aguero's ill-timed injury earlier had only added to Guardiola's woes. Although fit now, Aguero is finding goals hard to come by. Raheem Sterling, too, has been enduring a frustrating run in front of goal and only Bernardo Silva has looked comfortable in this uncomfortable period.

City will be tested severely by Southampton, who look fresh under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond's form in front of goal have been the main talking points at the St Mary's Stadium. Although the victory was snatched from their hands last week by the brilliant Felipe Anderson, the Saints will be keen on adding another bruise upon the hurting Manchester City side.

Charlie Austin and Shane Long, too, have been good for the Saints as has been Oriol Romeu in midfield. Although keeping the rampant Manchester City attackers at bay will be hard, Southampton are not going to give in easily. Backed by a vociferous St.Mary's crowd, the Saints may well be the favourites in this game given the defending champions' horrible form.

Predicted line-ups:

Southampton:

Goalkeeper: Alex McCarthy

Defenders: Matt Targett, Jannik Vestergaard, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek, Yan Valery

Midfielders: Mario Lemina, Oriol Romeu

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Attackers: Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin

Manchester City:

Goalkeeper: Ederson Moraes

Defenders: Oleksandr Zinchenko, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva

Attackers: Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling.

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