High flying Southampton host Manchester City in the Premier League at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s City side have come to be known as the great entertainers in his 4 year spell at the helm, but it’s fair to say this season that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints have been a better side to watch in the opening 13 Premier League games.
That is reflected in the table too, with Southampton in the lofty heights of third following their 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday.
Manchester City could only manage a 1-1 draw themselves midweek against lowly West Brom, with Baggies boss Slaven Bilic relieved of his duties some 14 hours after the final whistle.
That draw combined with lacklustre attacking displays this campaign sees the usually formidable City down in 8th in the Premier League table and eight points off top – a gap which you’d argue Guardiola cannot allow to grow any larger if they are to contend for the title this season.
City can claw back some ground and go a point behind their opponents with a win; Southampton could do the same to league leaders Liverpool if they get the victory and Crystal Palace beat Jurgen Klopp’s side in the lunchtime kick off.
If things weren’t going swimmingly enough for Ralph Hasenhuttl, he has a clean bill of health too, with every member of his Southampton squad fit and available for selection against Manchester City.
The same fortunes can’t be said of Pep Guardiola though, who is missing defender Eric Garcia until the new year.
Oleksandar Zinchenko is also out for the long term, with no timeframe revealed on a return for the Ukrainian.
Sergio Aguero was involved against West Brom on Tuesday after recovering from a short bout of illness, but he is still getting flare ups of a knee injury which required surgery in the summer.
He is expected to be in the squad against Southampton, but may not start.
Southampton v Manchester City is a 3pm kick off on Saturday 19th December.