Southampton - Manchester City Preview: Citizens travel to South Coast with Madrid on the horizon

As the Premier League draws to a close, Manuel Pellegrini makes his final trip to the south coast as Manchester City look to open up a gap on chasers Arsenal.

Southampton - Manchester City Preview: Citizens travel to South Coast with Madrid on the horizon
photo: vavel

Manchester City travel to Southampton on Sunday, hoping for three points as the end of the season gets ever closer.

Having found their form at just the right time, the Sky Blues look to hold on to their third place spot and maintain their good form of recent. But will we see a more cautious line up with the tie of the season away to Real Madrid just around the corner?

When they last met 

City were the victors when the two sides met back in late November at the Etihad. A comfortable 3-1 win for the Blues came courtesy of goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph and Aleksandar Kolarov, Shane Long giving the Saints a consolation goal shortly after the interval. The three points that day saw City reclaim top spot over Leicester City, albeit on goal difference.

Team news

The Sky Blues will have to suffice without David Silva for both this weekends meeting with Southampton as well as Wednesday's clash with Real Madrid. Yaya Toure won't feature this weekend either however Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful that the Ivorian will be back in time for this next weeks Champions League action. Samir Nasri will be in Sunday's squad list along with Raheem Sterling. 

Ronald Koeman has a fully fit squad to choose from, Charlie Austin has been absent in recent weeks but has returned to full training. 

What they're saying? 

Pellegrini was full of praise for the work Koeman has put in whilst on the south coast saying; “Southampton is a team that in the last three years are doing very well - they have very good players. They sold a lot of players this season and it’s a merit to Ronald Koeman that they are doing so well.”

Inevitably there were questions over the upcoming Champions League tie on Wednesday, Pellegrini as cool as ever with his response; "Our mind is the same, to continue trying to win all our games and have a spot in the Champions League for next year, and be as near the top of the table as we can."

Whilst Koeman spoke about whether he'll be here next season with the Saints; "Yes, of course. I don't like to talk about individual clubs because I think everybody has ambition, and I have that also, but I signed a three-year contract with Southampton."

Who wins?

Southampton will provide a good test of the City's front four with the Saints victorious in six of of their last eight games at St Mary's Stadium. Despite this the undeniable quality City have in their XI and the Sky Blue's recent form of late, it's most likely City will return to Eastlands with the three points and reclaim third spot from Arsenal