Manchester City welcome Southampton to the Etihad Stadium with both sides hoping to bounce back from disappointing defeats last weekend.
The hosts were stunned by Jurgen Klopp’s resurgent Liverpool last time out as they failed to cope with the Reds’ pressing style and succumbed to a surprising 4-1 defeat; City will be wary of Southampton, another side who like to press high up the pitch.
Despite last weekend’s disappointment, City will end the day top if Leicester and Manchester United draw and they can defeat the Saints – something that will be easier said than done, as Ronald Koeman’s side are unbeaten on their travels this season.
City’s tally of 20 home goals is comfortably the best in the Premier League this season, and Sergio Aguero made a goalscoring return to the side last weekend; the Argentine staying fit will go a long way to determining whether City sustain a serious title challenge.
Southampton head north searching for their first win at City since 2004, when a Kevin Phillips brace and one from James Beattie gave them a 3-1 victory.
Last weekend’s 1-0 reverse at home to Stoke halted their momentum, but they are one of three teams with 20 points to their name and could end the weekend sixth if other results go their way.
The Saints have let in just four goals on the road this season, the joint-best record in the Premier League; the back four will have to play out of their skins if that record is to remain by Saturday evening.
City will be without Joe Hart, who has a muscle injury, meaning Willy will start in goal, while Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala will also be missing for the hosts.
Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful David Silva will be fit to return, while Richard Wright will be on the bench – he hasn’t played Premier League football since 2006.
For the visitors, they will be without the suspended Graziano Pelle, meaning Shane Long and Sadio Mane are likely to be named as the attacking players at the Etihad.
League Position: Man City – 3rd (26 pts); Southampton – 8th (20 pts)
Last Meeting: Man City 2-0 Southampton (May 24, 2015)
Form: Man City – WWDWDL; Southampton – WDDWWL
Key Players: Man City – Sergio Aguero; Southampton – Sadio Mane
Shoot Says: Man City 2-1 Southampton