Manchester City-Southampton Preview

TOM BENNETT (STATS European Football Writer)
The Associated Press

Southampton will be looking to take advantage of Manchester City's inconsistent away form as they meet at St Mary's on Saturday.

City (9-1-4) have been unstoppable at the Etihad under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, winning all seven of their home matches, scoring a league-high 29 goals - 11 more than the next best - and conceding a league-low two. However, results on the road have let City down, as they have claimed only seven points from seven matches while being outscored 12-11.

Pellegrini's side did pick up three on the road in midweek, but conceded twice late to make it a far-from-comfortable 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion. Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri were all withdrawn in the second half, and the City manager admitted his team may have had one eye on Saturday's match.

"We played very well. In other away games we played as well as we did in this game, but for some reason we didn't score the two early goals like we did here," said Pellegrini. "We had a lot of chances to score, and for 45 minutes we were very good. The scoreline doesn't tell the story.

"Maybe we were thinking of the next game before we finished this one, and in football the game is not over until the final whistle. For us it was important to win away, and we'll try to do it again on Saturday at Southampton before we then play Arsenal."

Southampton (6-4-4) started the season with a bang, but defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea were followed by a midweek smash-and-grab by Aston Villa. The Saints had all of the possession and all of the chances, but three excellent counter-attacking goals by the visitors left Mauricio Pochettino's men with no points to show for their dominance… much to the disbelief of captain Adam Lallana.

"It's such a strange feeling now," said the England midfielder. "It's just one of those games. I can't wait to go back and play Villa because I thought they didn't deserve to get anything out of the game and we deserved to get a result. I want to go there later on in the season and get three points.

"We've got a big game on Saturday, massive in fact. It's not that we're not playing well. We are playing well. We've got to prepare and get everyone as fit as we can. It is a big month. We've proved we can beat Man City. We did last season, so let's do it again."

Southampton have doubts over Victor Wanyama (knock), Nathaniel Clyne (knock), Gaston Ramirez (illness) and Morgan Schneiderlin (groin), while Artur Boruc (hand), Kelvin Davis (back) and Guly do Prado (knee) are out. Man City have doubts over David Silva, Stefan Jovetic and Matija Nastasic.

There were plenty of goals in the games between these sides last season. Manchester City came from behind to beat the newly promoted Saints 3-2 in their August meeting at the Etihad, but failed to conjure up a similar turnaround on the south coast, where they lost 3-1 in February.

What to Read Next