Southampton - Manchester City Preview: Saints bid to end season strongly

Southampton host Manchester City at St Mary's in the Premier League this weekend, in a match where Ronald Koemans side need to pick up points to keep their hopes of European football alive.

Southampton - Manchester City Preview: Saints bid to end season strongly
Picture source: VAVEL

Southampton welcome Manchester City to St Mary’s in a match where the Saints can throw a spanner in the works for the top four race.

Ronald Koeman's men are unbeaten in their previous three matches and face a difficult tie with City, who drew 0-0 with Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek.

The Saints are still in with a faint chance of qualifying for European football next season and will look to finish the campaign as strongly as possible, though haven’t beaten the blues in their previous five attempts and will be anticipating a tough match on Sunday.

Koeman has eluded to the fact that the tie is sandwiched between City’s two European matches with Madrid, but knows that they will be desperate to win to solidify their place in the top four.

The Dutchman said: “They have more than 11 good players to start so it is possible the manager will change some players, but still they are strong."

​City on impressive run

City are in good form coming into the tie having not been on the losing side this month in any of their eight matches. With manager Manuel Pellegrini making way for Pep Guardiola in the summer, the Chilean will be keen to bow out after a successful season and will want to leave the club having qualified for the Champions League.

Some would suggest that the Chilean would rather focus on the Champions League semi-final second leg tie with Madrid, as he searches to win the very competition that Guardiola is coming in with the remit to win.

​Team news

The Saints have a fully fit squad for the tie meaning Koeman will feel even more confident going into the game. Graziano Pellé looks set to return after sitting out last weekend in the 4-2 victory over Aston Villa.

The away side will have key players David Silva and Yaya Touré both missing through injury, though Samir Nasri is available for the blues.

​Previous meetings

The Saints have lost their last four meetings with City, the last being a 3-1 defeat in November last year at the Etihad Stadium as Kevin de Bruyne, Fabian Delph and Aleksandar Kolarov scored the goals for City, with Shane Long notching the Saints' only goal of the game.

City swept past the Saints last time at St Mary's - with loan signing Frank Lampard getting on the scoresheet. | Photo: mcfc.co.uk

The last time City visited St Mary’s was last season as they swept away the home side with a 3-0 win, with goals from Touré, Frank Lampard and Gäel Clichy, how Koeman will hope for better on Sunday afternoon.