Man City’s biggest weakness offers Southampton a ‘glimmer of hope’

Manchester City host Southampton this weekend looking to extend their incredible run of scoring five or more goals in all of their home games so far this season.

Their latest win saw them put six past Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, though some fans were quick to criticise some of the defending from Pep Guardiola’s side.

In the latest City is Ours Facebook Live stream, City Fan Brands writer Alex Brotherton was joined by Southampton fan James Truscott as the pair discussed Southampton’s chances at the Etihad…

JT – “ City’s free-scoring nature definitely worries me, particularly because back in March when we [Southampton] were away to you guys [City] you put five goals past us.

“I think over the past couple of seasons we’ve had a lot of defensive issues but [Romain] Perraud, [Mohammed] Salisu, [Jack] Stephens and [Tino] Livramento in this new-look back four have definitely looked a lot more confident early on in the season.

“In fact, our problems have been scoring goals rather than defending. Even though the back four is fresh, it’s something we’re quite confident with.

“You would like to think we will counter, especially against City. We might take a slightly defensive mentality but the good thing is we have pace in the full-back positions. In the wide areas that’s somewhere we are very stacked up in. We have a lot of pace and ability.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola alongside Southampton chief Ralph Hasenhuttl (right).
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will face off on Saturday

AB – “Looking at the record of recent games at the Etihad Stadium between City and Southampton, it doesn’t make for particularly good reading for a Southampton fan. In total City have won 14 of the last 19 meetings. You’d have to go back years and years to find the last time City lost to Southampton.”

JT – “The likes of [Riyad] Maherz, [Jack] Grealish cutting in from either side, Southampton just have to make sure they narrow down that space. Livramento and Perraud making the long runs further up the field must make sure not to leave us exposed in those defensive positions.

“I am hoping [Oriol] Romeu will be able to protect the defence but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to do that with the areas City can attack in.”

Guardiola’s team selections are always likely to spark debate, though he seems to have settled on his preferred starting XI this season despite making a number of changes for the midweek Champions League fixture against Leipzig.

AB – “Guardiola always has a selection headache because there are so many attackers in his City squad. I think we’re going to see a similar situation to the first half of last season where Guardiola had quite a set starting eleven for the league games.

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“He usually had a set squad for the league games then it was Champions League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup where he would tinker a bit more. So I think we’ll see Kyle Walker come back into the team, [Joao] Cancelo will go back to left-back and maybe Gabriel Jesus back in as well.”

– “I think the slight glimmer of hope is Ake and Dias potentially being the starting centre-back duo. The only problem is I am more concerned with what’s going on up top. If you can outscore RB Leipzig, you can definitely outscore Southampton.”

Do you think City will beat Southampton on Saturday? Follow our new City Fan Brands Writer Alex Brotherton and James Truscott on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.