Manchester C. vs Southampton by FP

Manchester-C.
VS
Southampton
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure again as a result of City losing their last two games. This is just the way of the world these days - it was only 18 months ago that City were Premier League champions and he was the first manager to take them beyond the group stage of the Champions League - a feat he has managed again this season. City are also very well placed in the Premier League, so in my opinion any criticism directed at the manager is not deserved. I think most of the discontent stems from the fact that Pellegrini is not seen as the most fashionable manager in the world, and mainly because he is not Guardiola. Although Pellegrini has done very well, Guardiola has an exciting style which any club in the world would want to replicate and because of the spending power Manchester City have he is a very likely target if they can prise him away from an easy job at Bayern Munich in the summer. If they cant lure Guardiola to The Etihad then Pellegrini will stay on as the next best choice.

 

City's performance at home to Liverpool in their 4-1 defeat was terrible. Liverpool caught them cold with an energetic pressing game and were first to every ball. This should not really have been a surprise for City as Jurgen Klopp has hardly made a secret of how he wants his team to play. The problem was that City failed to adapt their tactics to neutralise the ability of their opponent. Pellegrini likes to think that his team can beat anyone, and on their day they probably can beat anyone, but the lack of tactical flexibility causes them problems when Plan A is not working. The performance in their 1-0 away defeat to Juventus was much better, and they could and should have come away with a draw as Raheem Sterling missed a chance that my grandmother would have scored.

 

Manchester City do have a few injury concerns - the main concern being goalkeeper Joe Hart who was substituted midweek with what looked like a hamstring injury. Hart has also been suffering with a back injury so will be given a brief break to recover fully. Willie Caballero comes into the team and is an experienced goalkeeper so the change is unlikely to cause too much disruption but it is fair to say that City will be weakened slightly in Hart's absence. Wilfried Bony also missed the game in midweek and is likely to start on the bench with Aguero up front on his own.

 

Southampton have performed more to expectation this season after exceeding expectations last season. Ronald Koeman has a settled side with Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane the two main attacking threats. Pelle is missing for this game and Long will lead the line instead which is a blow to their chances of winning here. The Saints have had more rest than City due to not being involved in European competition midweek, but lost 1-0 last time out to Stoke. The loss of Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United has affected their midfield and although Ward-Prowse has stepped up to the plate and impressed, he is not as consistent and is a different type of player to Schneiderlin. Southampton sit 8th in the Premier League table, level with Everton and Liverpool.

 

I can see Manchester City pressuring the Southampton defence for most of this match and eventually the pressure will tell. City have won their last two matches against Southampton without conceding a goal, and although I am not too confident that they will stop Southampton from scoring this time, I will be backing a Manchester City victory at odds of 1.61

 

Good luck with your bets, and feel free to check out my personal site www.footypreviews.com for more previews and tips

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Pick Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
Man City 10bet 1.61 10 3-1 WON (+6.1 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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