Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Southampton
Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)
Match Odds: Manchester City 4/7 – Draw 7/2 – Southampton 4/1
Southampton have exceeded all expectations and are guaranteed to finish one place higher than last season. If results go their way, they could even finish as high as fifth.
City’s recent form has been impressive, winning their last five, scoring sixteen goals along the way since their demoralising defeat to rivals Manchester United back in April.
Manuel Pellegrini‘s future is under immense pressure after failing to retain the Premier League crown or win a cup competition this season, leaving City trophy-less for the second time in three years.
Although his future is in doubt, Pellegrini still expects to be the manager come next season as they aim to take the title back from Chelsea.
A summer clearout is expected at Manchester City with Yaya Toure said to be playing his last game for the club along with possible departures such as Stevan Jovetic, James Milner and of course Frank Lampard before he leaves for MLS club New York City FC.
Before the season began, Southampton were tipped for relegation, a low points total and looked like a club that would be in disarray. But they certainly aren’t. Ronald Koeman has come in and done a very impressive job, leading them to their highest position in Premier League history.Embed from Getty Images
The Saints arrive in Manchester off the back of a terrific 6-1 victory at home to Aston Villa and will be hoping to try and secure European football next season.
The reverse fixture saw Manchester City win 3-0 at St Mary’s with goals from Yaya Toure, Frank Lampard and Gael Clichy the difference.
Manchester City will be missing Samir Nasri who has a groin injury.
Southampton will be without Dusan Tadic (groin). Goalkeeper Fraser Forster is a long-term absentee, so Kelvin Davies is expected to continue between the sticks. Morgan Schneiderlin could return to the side for what would potentially be his last appearance for the club as he’d constantly being linked with a move away. Jay Rodriguez could make his first appearance in fifteen months after his ACL tear in the same fixture last season.
Manchester City’s last five: W/W/W/W/W
Southampton’s last five: L/D/L/L/W
Key Stat: The last time Manchester City did the double over Southampton was in the 1992/93 inaugural Premier League season.
Key Player: Yaya Toure – Although he is certain to leave Manchester City this summer, he is so important to his side. He can flip the game in a heartbeat. The Ivorian hit a brace at Swansea last week and could add to his twelve goals this season.
Manchester City 2-0 Southampton – City will expect to finish strongly at home with a victory. Southampton have had a brilliant season but will fall just short of their opponents in this one.