Dec 6, 2013, 10:50 AM EDT
- Southampton are on a run of three consecutive defeats, their worst run under Mauricio Pochettino
- City are the PL’s top scorer with 40 goals, however only 11 of those have come away
- Saints have the second best defense in the PL… despite letting in 8 goals in last three games
For most of the early knockings this season, Southampton have been the surprise package and have taken the Premier League by storm.
But three defeats on the spin has sent them back down the table and an injury-crisis is the last thing Mauricio Pochettino needs as Manchester City (watch live on NBCSN, Saturday 10am ET and online via NBC Sports Live Extra) roll into town.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are enjoying their best run of form since he took over and have won three straight games in the league to put them into the top four after a shaky spell, especially away from the Etihad Stadium, as they’ve lost four times already this season.
For Saturday’s game Saints are without eight first-team regulars as goalkeepers Artur Boruc and Kelvin Davis are missing, right back Nathaniel Clyne and central defender Jose Fonte are injured, midfielder Victor Wanyama has broken a bone in his leg, Morgan Schneiderlin is out plus Guly Do Prado is missing and Gaston Ramirez could be sidlined by illness.
Pochettino could have as many as seven teenagers in his squad as he prepares to take on City’s lethal attacking unit. Sergio Aguero has been on fire this season, scoring 16 times in his last 14 games and has formed a superb partnership with Alvaro Negredo up front.
It will be a big ask for Southampton’s makeshift squad to win anything more than pride on Saturday afternoon at St. Mary’s.
Then again, Pochettino’s first win in charge of the Saints came at home vs. City in a 3-1 win last February.
Can they repeat that against all the odds?
What they’re saying
The Saints will have to be at their best to pull this one off and without their two central midfielder, first choice goalkeeper, right back and center back, their lack of squad depth is going to be horribly exposed. I don’t think they can handle Aguero, Yaya Toure and the rest oc City’s attacking talents on Saturday and it could be a fourth loss on the spin for the Saints. Pellegrini’s men are on a roll and I don’t expect that to stop at St. Mary’s. Away win.
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