Southampton are still searching for a first win under new manager Mauricio Pochettino against a Manchester City side that are fast losing their grip on their Premier League title. Last week’s 2-2 home draw with Liverpool left the Citizens nine points behind Manchester United with only 13 matches left to play and coach Roberto Mancini will know that any more dropped points at this stage will all but hand the title over to their rivals.
The Saints have only won one of their last nine Premier League games and currently sit just four points clear of the drop zone. Thus, the injuries that could rule out full-backs Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne, as well as key midfielder Gaston Ramirez would come as a major blow to the South Cost club. Guly Do Prado and Jose Fonte are also missing with a knee injury so new signing Vegard Forren may make his debut.
Manchester City can call upon key midfielder Yaya Toure after the Ivorian’s return from the Africa Cup of Nations while brother Kolo is also available for selection again. Captain Vincent Kompany could return from a calf problem while right-back Maicon is also fit after making his return from a knee injury against Liverpool last week.
Elsewhere, Mancini must choose between the out-of-form Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez to partner Sergio Aguero up front, after the latter’s dream finish secured a point at home to Liverpool in City’s last outing.