Manchester City look to put Mark Hughes job at further risk and continue their unbeaten run


Mark Hughes returns to his old club Manchester City knowing a heavy defeat will put further pressure on his job at Southampton.

The Saints travel to the Etihad on a Sunday afternoon, hoping to continue their defensive form, having kept two clean sheets in their last two Premier League fixtures. The defensive partnership of Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens has forced £18m signing Jannik Vestegaard to sit on the bench in recent times.

Manchester City meanwhile know they are currently in a true title race. With Liverpool and Chelsea both unbeaten in the league this season, Pep Guardiola knows his side cannot afford any slip ups, especially against those battling relegation as Southampton are.

This fixture is remembered in recent memory for Pep Guardiola man handling Nathan Redmond in a 2-1 City win last season, furious at the fact a player he admired was playing in such a negative fashion. The City manager may feel those same frustrations this season, as Hughes side have failed to score in their last five Premier League games.

Southampton have only a solitary win this season, away at Crystal Palace and Hughes will be setting up to ensure this side does not get a hammering from a freescoring City team, further damaging the confidence of his players.

Manchester City will be without Kevin De Bruyne who suffered yet another ligament injury in the midweek game against Fulham, his first start since returning from the same injury, on his other knee.

But Guardiola can afford to rotate, with games coming thick and fast for his side, the plethora of talent he possesses will be put to full use. Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva, amongst the impressive Brahim Diaz, are all vying for those wide positions and are all capable of damaging that Souhampton defence.

Southampton have beaten Manchester City just once in the last 10 meetings between these sides, a 4-2 victory in 2016, when the Saints were at the height of their success.

Since then, Manchester City have improved year upon year and taken the majority of the points from this fixture with relative ease and will be expecting to do the same this weekend. The pressure is on Mark Hughes, and on Sunday evening, the pressure will be ever increasing.

Prediction – Manchester City 4-0 Southampton


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