Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday February 8 2013
St Mary's Stadium
It's do or die every game now for Manchester City as the reigning champions head to the south coast unbeaten in 2013...
'I don't think in these last two years there is a team that has played better than us. Manchester United is a strong team, Chelsea is a strong team but I think in the last two years Manchester City is the team that has played better in the Premier League.'
'It's obvious that Aguero, Tevez and Silva are great players. We know we have to stop the players passing balls to these three. We know any of these three can decide the match at any time…we have to stop the ball getting to them. All of our matches are difficult in this division, but we know that Manchester City were the champions last season so we will need to be at our best to beat them.'
Guly do Prado
To put it bluntly, a handful. City's central defenders will need to be bang on top of their game against this fella. They only need read the match report from our opening game of the season for a reminder. Ominously, he has now scored 99 goals for Southampton.
LATE FITNESS TEST:
The giant midfielder returns from international duty to the engine room, hopefully alongside Gareth Barry, the man he has forged an understanding with. His very presence alone is often worth a head start and he has a massive role to play in the continuing fight to defend the title.
THE NUMBERS GAME:
Saints have not beaten City in the last 6 meetings.
No other team has conceded fewer shots on target against them this season than The Blues with 65.
City have the finest defensive defensive record in the league with 11 clean sheets.
Southampton have the worst record in the division facing top 10 teams. They haven't beaten one of them all season.
Saints have registered 1 win in their last 9 league games.
No other side has lost so many points from leading positions than Southampton with 24.
HEAD TO HEAD:
League 25 Saints Wins, 21 Draws, 23 City Wins
League Cup 3 Saints Wins, 2 Draws
FA Cup 1 Saints Win, 2 City Wins
Total: 29 Saints Wins, 23 Draws, 25 City Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Su 19Aug 2012 Man City 3 - 2 Southampton PL
Su 28Jan 2007 Man City 3 - 1 Southampton FAC
Sa 01Jan 2005 Man City 2 - 1 Southampton PL
Sa 02Oct 2004 Southampton 0 - 0 Man City PL
FORM LAST 6 GAMES ALL COMPETITIONS:
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
CLASSIC CITY TUBE: mcfcvideos - Southampton v Manchester City, Nov 2nd 1991
BETTING: Saints 9/2 Draw 3 City 4/7 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV COVERAGE: ESPN uk/ie and BBC Match Of The Day
Martin Atkinson of West Yorkshire 4th Official Lee Mason -Last Season: Sa 10Sep 2011 Man City 3 - 0 Wigan , Sa 05Nov 2011 QPR 2 - 3 Man City, Su 27Nov 2011 Liverpool 1 - 1 Man City, Mo 16Jan 2012 Wigan 0 - 1 Man City, Su 08Apr 2012 Arsenal 1 - 0 Man City -This Season: Sa 27Oct 2012 Man City 1 - 0 Swansea, Su 09Dec 2012 Man City 2 - 3 Man Utd -2011/12: 40 Games, 146 Yellows, 11 Reds -2012/2013: 28 Games, 105 Yellows, 1 Red...N.B. Across the past 26 months Atkinson has refereed Manchester united games on only 5 occasions, all away fixtures. He last officiated at the swamp in November 2010 when the rags played Wigan after which The Stretford Bin Man took him publically to task. Funny old thing.
Johnny On The Spot: It's pointless (sic) bemoaning the draws City have registered this season in numerous games, most notably those on the road where they have frustratedly battered the home side and failed to take their chances ad nauseam. With The Stretford Gap now standing at 9 points, the season has to start now. A repeat of the stalemates at Chelsea, West Ham and QPR isn't an option at St Mary's where City must take the game to the resurgent Saints and get ruthless when it counts. It won't be easy, but there are some positive omens for Roberto Mancini's men to point to. The injury and absenteeism list is easing and Sergio Aguero is in stunning form. I'm expecting a robust performance from The Blues in advance of an FA Cup weekend with Leeds and the pivotal league clash with Chelsea. Southampton 0 City 2
all times East Manchester
Su 17 Feb 14h00 Leeds United, The Etihad, FAC5
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL
Date:Friday February 8 2013
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