Manchester City Vs Southampton Football Match Score 8 Oct 2022
Manchester City could momentarily climb to the top of the Premier League table when they welcome Southampton to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Citizens currently sit in second place and only one point behind leaders Arsenal – who face Liverpool on Sunday – while the Saints are just one point above the relegation zone in 16th place. Man City extended their winning streak in all competitions to five matches with a comfortable 5-0 victory at home against Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday night. There were no prizes for guessing who broke the deadlock at the Etihad, as Erling Braut Haaland found the net after just seven minutes before adding a second shortly after the half-hour mark, taking his remarkable goal tally for the season to 19 after just 11 games in all tournaments.
An own goal put City three in front at the break, before goals from Riyad Mahrez – netting on his 200th appearance for the club – and Julian Alvarez helped the hosts cruise to victory and maintain their perfect start in Group G. A win in the reverse fixture against Copenhagen next week would secure their place in the knockout rounds. Pep Guardiola’s side return to Premier League action on Saturday and they are the only team in the division who remain unbeaten from the opening eight matches this term. Understandably, the Citizens are in buoyant mood, but they will be wary of the threat that their next opponents Southampton are likely to pose. City dropped points in both top-flight encounters against the Saints last season, playing out a rare goalless draw on home soil in September 2021 before drawing 1-1 at St Mary’s in January. The Citizens did, however, secure a 4-1 FA Cup victory at St Mary’s in March.
Since losing 3-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur in February, Guardiola’s men have put together a 15-game unbeaten run at the Etihad in all competitions, scoring an impressive 54 goals in the process, and they will be strong favourites to extend this run on Saturday against a Southampton side struggling for form. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side suffered their third successive Premier League defeat and their fourth in five matches when they lost 2-1 at home to Everton last weekend. Summer signing Joe Aribo put the Saints in front four minutes after half time, but their lead was short-lived as Conor Coady equalised just three minutes later before Dwight McNeil put the Toffees in front in the 54th minute. Only Arsenal and Man City had as many shots as Southampton (22) in last weekend’s round of fixtures, but the Saints lacked a cutting edge in the final third and came away from St Mary’s empty handed.
The aim for Hasenhuttl and co is to return to winning ways quickly as they bid to avoid slipping into the relegation zone, but their chances of success on Saturday are slim considering both their opponents and form on the road. Southampton have failed to win any of their last 11 Premier League visits to the Etihad since a 3-1 victory back in April 2004, while they have only ever won two of their 45 away league matches against reigning top-flight champions. Clean sheets away from home have also been hard to come by for the Saints, as they have conceded in each of their last 18 Premier League matches on the road, both the longest current run and the club’s longest ever run in the division. Last season’s goalless draw at the Etihad will at least instil some belief in the Southampton squad, and another resilient defensive display is required if they are to somehow keep Haaland and co quiet in front of goal.
Man City will be without Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring) and Kyle Walker (groin), the latter of whom underwent surgery this week and now faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup. Guardiola could welcome back Rodri to the first XI after recovering from a minor injury which kept him out of last weekend’s Manchester derby. The Spaniard was an unused substitute in midweek, but he could replace captain Ilkay Gundogan in centre-midfield on Saturday. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden could also return to the starting lineup after being rested in midweek, while Haaland – who came off at half time against Copenhagen – is expected to start again as the central striker. Joao Cancelo is set to start again at right-back in Walker’s absence, while Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte will be fighting to keep their places at centre-back ahead of Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake.
As for Southampton, right-back Valentino Livramento and former Man City academy graduate Romeo Lavia both remain sidelined with respective ACL and muscle injuries, although the latter is inching closer to a return. While Lavia watches on from the sidelines, as many as three other Man City academy graduates could play for the Saints this weekend, with Gavin Bazunu, Juan Larios and Sam Edozie all pushing to start against their former club. Hasenhuttl is expected to stick with a flat 4-4-2 formation which he used in all three meetings against the Citizens last season, with Stuart Armstrong and Joe Aribo potentially keeping their places on the flanks. Duje Caleta-Car made his Southampton debut last weekend and he will be hoping to retain his place at centre-back ahead of Mohammed Salisu.