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Premier League

  • April 5, 2014
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 47009
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Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Southampton

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Southampton

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Brendan Rodgers' side moved to the top of the Premier League table last weekend, but the 2011-12 champion can leapfrog its title rivals if it wins both games in hand.

Manchester City can turn up the heat on Liverpool with a victory over in-form Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Due largely to Capital One Cup, FA Cup and Champions League commitments, City has fallen off the pace at the top - with Brendan Rodgers' side taking full advantage to move four points ahead of the 2011-12 champion.

With just the Premier League left to focus on, manager Manuel Pellegrini can ill-afford any more slip-ups following last Saturday's 1-1 draw at Arsenal.

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City, which has also dropped below Chelsea but has two games in hand on the sides above it, meets Liverpool next weekend in a crucial fixture at the top, and Pellegrini will want to head into that game with a win behind his team.

With Liverpool not in action until Sunday, City has a chance to apply some pressure on the Merseysiders and they boast an impressive home record.

Pellegrini's men have made the Etihad a fortress this season, winning 13 of their 14 league games on home soil.

The solitary defeat came against Chelsea in February, but City's response has been to take 14 points from six league games since then.

Pellegrini could be without leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero this weekend, with the striker not having featured since limping out of their Champions League defeat to Barcelona in March.

Pochettino's charges - who earned a 1-1 draw at home to City, when Aguero was on target - have found their goal-scoring touch lately, hitting 10 in the last three games.

English trio Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have been Southampton's main source of inspiration, with all three having found the net in Saturday's 4-0 win over Newcastle as they moved back  up to eighth.

Defender Luke Shaw - who could join the likes of Lallana, Rodriguez and Lambert in England's World Cup squad - feels the sky is the limit for Southampton.

"I think in the next year or so we can be challenging the top five teams," he said. "They've got to get the manager down on a long-term contract, which will probably be the first thing they try and do."

Victor Wanyama could return for Southampton following a calf problem, although Kelvin Davis (back), Nathaniel Clyne (groin) and Maya Yoshida (knee) remain sidelined.

As well as Aguero, Pellegrini also has doubts over Micah Richards and Matija Nastasic (both knee).

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester City

Southampton

Wins
4
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester City FC MCI
Manchester City FC Manchester City
Draw
Southampton FC SOT
Southampton FC Southampton
61%
19%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester City FC MCI
4 - 0
Southampton FC SOT
Manchester City FC MCI
1 - 1
Southampton FC SOT
Manchester City FC MCI
3 - 1
Southampton FC SOT

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