Man City VS Southampton – LIVE Reddit Soccer 20/03/2022
Manchester City will resume their quest for a possible treble when they face Southampton in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The Cityzens are still active in three competitions: the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the FA Cup. They were knocked out of the EFL Cup by West Ham United on penalties. As far as Pep Guardiola’s side’s FA Cup campaign is concerned, they started with a 4-1 third-round win over Swindon Town. The draw then pitted Manchester City against Fulham, whom they defeated 4-1 as well. In the fifth round, they got the better of Peterborough United by a 2-0 scoreline to book a quarter-final clash against Southampton.
The Premier League champions have lost just one of their last ten matches in all competitions and will want to add another win to their account when they line up against Southampton. The Saints’ road to the quarter-final has not been as easy as their opponents. They needed extra time to get the better of Swansea City in the third round and then Coventry City in the fourth round. Southampton were, however, clinical against West Ham United in the fifth round, beating them 3-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are having a much better league season this term. Despite three consecutive losses, Southampton are tenth in the Premier League table. The FA Cup presents a great opportunity for them to win silverware this season or give their fans a trip to Wembley by qualifying for the semi-finals or even the final.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has been boosted by the returns of right-back Valentino Livramento and midfielder Nathan Tella. He will, however, be without goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and centre-back Lyanco for the Manchester City tie. With a near full-strength squad at his disposal, the German tactician is expected to field a strong side for the FA Cup quarter-final. Fraser Forster is likely to continue between the sticks, although there is a slight chance that Hasenhuttl uses former Manchester City shot-stopper Willy Caballero instead. Man City have failed to score in their last two matches and go up against a Southampton side that have held them to draws in each of their meetings in the league this season. The Saints are the underdogs this weekend despite having the home advantage for this FA Cup quarter-final but will be hoping to catch Man city on another off day.
Both teams have scored in just two of the last five league meetings between Southampton and Man City, and we just don’t see both teams scoring in Sunday’s FA Cup tie. Both teams have scored in just two of the Saint’s last five league games, while only two of Man City’s last six matches in all competitions have produced goals at both ends of the pitch.
Southampton were the big favourites to win their home game against struggling Watford last weekend but slipped 2-goals behind inside the opening 34-minutes and although Elyounoussi was able to make it 2-1 before the break, the Saints failed to carve out an equaliser. That defeat cost the Saints a chance of moving into 9th place ahead of Aston Villa and realistically, that is the highest the club are likely to finish this season.
Man City knew they had to win away at Crystal Palace to put pressure on Liverpool ahead of their trip to the Emirates. However, for the second time in the space of 5-days, Guardiola’s men were held to a goalless draw. City had already lost at home against the Eagles in the Premier League and would have been expecting a tricky trip to the capital. That result has allowed Liverpool to move to within a point of Man City and really ramped up the pressure on the favourites who have a potentially tricky trip to Burnley to come after the international break.
Improving on last season’s 15th-place finish in the Premier League was always Southampton’s number one priority this term, and the Saints are certainly on course to achieve that goal, currently sitting 10th in the table, boasting 35 points from their 29 matches of the 2021-22 campaign.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will enter this match off the back of three straight league defeats, though, losing by four at Aston Villa on March 5 before going down 2-1 at home to both Newcastle United and Watford.
March has not been a happy month thus far, but beating Man City to advance to the semi-finals of the FA Cup would be the perfect way to bounce back, and it will be fascinating to see how the match unfolds at St Mary’s, particularly as Southampton have held the Citizens to two league draws this term.
The Saints, who previously won the FA Cup in 1976, have won three matches to advance to this stage of the competition, overcoming Swansea City and Coventry City before beating fellow Premier League West Ham United in the last round.
Southampton have only beaten Man City once in any competition since May 2016, while their recent form has been disappointing, but this tournament is certainly capable of throwing up surprise results.
Man City are bidding to win the treble this season and found out on Friday that they would be taking on Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, with the first leg due to take place at the Etihad Stadium on April 5.
The Citizens will certainly be feeling the heat in the Premier League, though, with Liverpool now just a point behind them in second position; the Reds managed to win at Arsenal on Wednesday, 48 hours after Man City had been held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Pep Guardiola’s side have hardly needed to break a sweat in this season’s FA Cup, putting four goals past both Swindon Town and Fulham in back-to-back games before beating Peterborough United 2-0 in the last round.
Man City are six-time winners of this competition, including in 2019, when they beat Watford 6-0 in the final, but the fact that Guardiola has only lifted the FA Cup on one occasion since his arrival is somewhat of a surprise considering the incredible success that the Spaniard has enjoyed.
The English champions have been semi-finalists in the last two campaigns, meanwhile, and a record of just one defeat from their last 13 matches against Southampton should mean that confidence is high ahead of this game.