Dubai: Title-chasing Manchester City will fancy their chances against rock-bottom Southampton on Saturday evening at St. Mary’s stadium.
The Saints have only accumulated 10 points from their 14 home matches this season, the fewest of any team in the division. City need a win to stay in touch with league leaders Arsenal who face a tough test on Sunday against Liverpool.
City boss Pep Guardiola will be hoping Liverpool can do his side a favour by taking points off Mikel Arteta’s men, but they must first beat the basement boys who lost 1-0 against West Ham last weekend leaving them four points adrift of safety.
Coach Ruben Selles has won only one of his six top-flight matches in charge, and they have failed to score in three of their last four games under his tutelage.
On the other hand, City have extended their winning run across all competitions to seven matches and will be hoping to continue their winning form. They won their last game against Liverpool 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium and that too without talisman Erling Haaland. He should be fit this weekend and will be hoping to once again me among the goals. City can reduce the gap at the top to five points with a win which would add extra pressure on the Gunners the next day.
City head into the match with an impressive record of having won each of their last 10 Premier League games against teams starting the day at the bottom of the table, a run dating back to March 2016, while they have not conceded in any of their last 14 fixtures against a basement club.
Despite losing in their last visit to St Mary’s, City are strong favourites to claim maximum points and boost their hopes of chasing down Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s unbeaten run at Old Trafford could be extended to 24 games if they avaoid defeat against Everton.
United won 1-0 against Brentford on Wednesday which helped them return to the top four of the table while Everton drew 1-1 with Tottenham which kept them above the relegation zone.
The Red Devils’ Champions League future is in their own hands as they continue to fight for success on three fronts, including their Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla next Thursday.
United have not lost in 23 successive matches at home, and they have kept three clean sheets in their last three games at Old Trafford.
Everton have not won a game away from home in the Premier League for ten matches, conceding at least two goals in each of their last five away games. Before the 2022-23 season, Everton avoided defeat in three successive games against United, but Erik Ten Hag’s side have beaten them twice this term, in the league clash at Goodison and the FA Cup.
Luke Shaw, who came off with an apparent hamstring injury against Brentford, will be assessed before Saturday’s game while the Toffees will be without suspended midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. James Garner may be considered for a first Premier League start of the season to replace Doucoure, but boss Sean Dyche could also revert to a three-man central backline.