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Played
August 19, 2012 4:00 PM BST
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ H. Webb‎
Attendance:‬ 46190‎
 

Manchester City - Southampton Preview: Premier League & Championship top scorers clash

Roberto Mancini's men will look to hit the ground running in their defence of the title against the newly-promoted Saints, who finished as runners-up in the second tier

By Michael Lightfoot

Roberto Mancini - Manchester City
Getty Images
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Yaya Toure, De Jong
Silva, Tevez, Nasri
Aguero
SOUTHAMPTON

K Davis
Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox
Guly, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Lallana
Rodriguez, Lambert

Manchester City start their first Premier League season as champions but could have both Joe Hart and Mario Balotelli out injured, with the duo missing the international friendly between England and Italy midweek.

Hart could return after a back injury but Costel Pantilimon is ready to deputise, while Balotelli is less likely to feature after conjunctivitis.

Gareth Barry and Micah Richards will not play due to respective hernia and foot injuries but City's strength in depth will allow them to field a strong XI nevertheless.

Southampton start their first Premier League campaign since their relegation with a first meeting between the pair in the higher echelons in five years.

Jack Cork will not feature after sustaining an ankle injury in the club's final pre-season friendly but Nigel Adkins looks set to hand competitive team debuts to Nathaniel Clyne, Steven Davis and Jay Rodriguez, who signed from Crystal Palace, Rangers and Burnley respectively.

The Saints are in discussions with Gaston Ramirez, of Bologna, but will not complete the deal in time for him to feature.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City dropped just two points at the Etihad Stadium last season.
  • They are on a run of 29 Premier League home games undefeated, with 27 of those wins.
  • It is a clash of the goalscoring titans. City top scored in the Premier League with 93 goals, whilst Nigel Adkins' (right) men top scored in the Championship with 85.
  • Southampton could struggle to win this match on the basis that only one newly promoted side - Blackpool - have won their opening game in the last three seasons.
  • However, the last 16 Premier League fixtures between these two has seen the away side victors on seven occasions, whilst the home side have won only four.
  • The last match between the pair in the top flight was five years ago.


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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
4Vincent KompanyDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
22Gael ClichyDefender
8Samir NasriMidfielder
17Jack RodwellMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
10Carlos TévezStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
15Stefan SavicDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
1Kelvin DavisGoalkeeper
6Jose Rocha FonteDefender
13Daniel FoxDefender
26Jos HooiveldDefender
2Nathaniel ClyneDefender
4Morgan SchneiderlinMidfielder
21Guilherme Do PradoMidfielder
20Adam LallanaMidfielder
13Jason PuncheonMidfielder
16James Ward-ProwseMidfielder
9Jay RodriguezStriker
25Paulo GazzanigaGoalkeeper
2Frazer RichardsonDefender
25Daniel SeaborneDefender
23Luke ShawDefender
8Steven DavisMidfielder
7Rickie LambertStriker
-Billy SharpStriker
Players to Watch
Sergio Agüero
Sergio Agüero
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 16
Games Goals YC RC
19 15 3 0

Without wanting to sound obvious, the man who scored 23 Premier League goals in his debut season will have to get off to a flyer if City want to defend their crown.

Kelvin Davis
Kelvin Davis
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 0 0

The former Sunderland goalkeeper should be very busy and if he wants his side to get off the mark in their first game back then he will have to be on top, top form.

Prediction
Even though Nigel Adkins would like his side to hit the ground running, Roberto Mancini would like his side to do likewise and with that much firepower at City's disposal, it could well be a baptism of fire for the Saints.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0