Man City VS Southampton Final – LIVE Football Reddit Score 22 Jan 2022
The international break is nearly upon us, but plenty of club football is to be played before then. Gameweek 23 begins in the Premier League this weekend, with the action on Saturday culminating at St. Mary’s, where Manchester United will be locking horns with Southampton. On the other hand, Manchester City’s 2021/22 campaign bears a close resemblance to last season. The Citizens are again the runaway leaders in the Premier League, with a consistent run of results enabling them to pull clear of their title rivals. Pep Guardiola’s men are currently perched atop the standings, with nearest challengers Liverpool 11 points behind them.
Southampton may have lost their most recent fixture 3-1 at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers, but they have been on a roll of late. The Saints have been steadily improving after a slow start to the season, with Ralph Hasenhuttl wielding the magic wand, with his team winning five domestic games on the trot before the loss to Wolves. The run of results has helped them climb up to 12th on the Premier League table, ten points clear of 18th-placed Norwich City.
The reverse fixture played at the Etihad back in September ended in a goalless stalemate, with Southampton and Manchester City managing three shots on target between them. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter. Ralph Hasenhuttl has been handed a boost on the team news front ahead of the visit of Manchester City. On Saturday, the Southampton manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players, with two squad members returning to his disposal.
Premier League leaders Manchester City will be looking to claim their 13th successive league victory when they face Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday evening.The Saints, meanwhile, who played out a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season, could move into the top 10 if they were to secure all three points on home soil. Southampton’s five-game unbeaten run across all competitions came to an end last weekend when they were beaten 3-1 away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After Raul Jimenez and Conor Coady put the hosts two goals in front, set-piece king James Ward-Prowse scored an astonishing 35-yard free kick six minutes from time to give the Saints hope of a comeback; Only England legend David Beckham (18) has scored more Premier League free kicks than Southampton’s captain. However, Wolves managed to restore their two-goal cushion and claim all three points when Adama Traore netted in stoppage time. That result has seen Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men slip to 12th in the table, 11 points clear of the relegation zone and the same number of points behind the top seven.
Theo Walcott and Mohamed Elyounoussi are in contention to feature after testing negative for COVID-19. The duo’s return means Alex McCarthy (hamstring), Will Smallbone (calf) and Valentino Livramento (knee) remain sidelined due to their respective injuries, while Moussa Djenepo is at the Africa Cup of Nations, representing Mali. Hasenhuttl should set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation, which will be a defensive setup in its very essence. The two wing-backs will largely drop deep to create a back five during the defensive phases, with the three central midfielders also retaining a largely pragmatic outlook.
Southampton will thus be set up to play on the counter-attack, which means the in-form Armando Broja will need to be clinical on Saturday. Fraser Forster will take his place in goal, with Jan Bednarek, Lyanco and Mohammed Salisu being the three centre-backs against Manchester City. Kyle Walker-Peters and Romain Perraud will likely be the two wing-backs, with the duo being tasked with providing the width higher up the pitch. The wing-backs will flank Ibrahima Diallo, Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse in Southampton’s second line of press.
Hasenhuttl’s side also suffered defeat against Wolves on home soil earlier this season, but that has been their only league loss in 10 games at St Mary’s this campaign – drawing six and winning three of the other nine – a record which will give them confidence ahead of Saturday’s clash with the champions.
The Saints will also take note of their resilient display at the Etihad Stadium in September last year when they played out a goalless draw, though many would argue that the visitors were unlucky not to come away with all three points on that occasion.
Another impressive defensive performance will be required on Saturday if they are to avoid defeat in both league meetings with City for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign. However, since keeping a clean sheet against the Citizens, Southampton have only recorded three shutouts in their last 16 league matches, shipping 27 goals in the process. While Pep Guardiola insists that the title race is not over just yet, Manchester City fans are sure to feel confident of clinching their fourth top-flight crown in five years following their slender 1-0 win over title rivals Chelsea last weekend.
Ward-Prowse has been scoring free-kicks for fun lately and will pose a great deal of threat during set-piece situations. Finally, Armando Broja and Che Adams will form the strike partnership for Southampton, with the two looking to hit Manchester City on the break with electric runs.
Ilkay Gundogan will be pushing to start his first league game since Boxing Day, but the German may struggle to displace one of the in-form midfield trio Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Bernardo Silva. Raheem Sterling – who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at St Mary’s last season – operated on the right flank last weekend, but he could switch to his preferred left side of the front three, if Gabriel Jesus is brought back into the first XI. Jack Grealish could be the unfortunate one to drop out should the Brazilian start.
As for Southampton, wingers Theo Walcott and Mohamed Elyounoussi both tested positive for COVID-19 before the trip to Wolves and are set to miss out again this weekend. Valentino Livramento and William Smallbone will both remain on the sidelines with respective knee and calf injuries, while Moussa Djenepo is away with Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who has missed the last eight games across all competitions due to a thigh problem, is also ruled out, so Fraser Forster is expected to continue between the sticks ahead of former Man City stopper Willy Caballero. Hasenhuttl has adopted a 3-5-2 formation in each of his last three league matches, and the Austrian may decide to stick with this system to try to counteract the attacking threat of the Citizens.