This game, sandwiched between two semi-final legs, is equally as important for Manchester City. A win would take them one step closer towards a top four finish as they attempt to fend off pressure from Arsenal and Manchester United. Southampton’s hopes of European football next season is still just about alive, but a win this week is essential.
Southampton host a Manchester City side who will have one eye on their Champions League semi-final second-leg in midweek.
The Saints will hope to capitalise on the distraction and continue their good run of form, where they have only lost once in their last seven league games.
Manager Ronald Koeman will be reminding his players that the race for European is still mathematically on, so the South coast outfit certainly have something to play for.
They have been far better at home this season, scoring 31 goals at St Mary’ Stadium compared to only 18 away from home, so they will feel confident they can give the City defenders something to worry about.
However, City can boast an impressive 16 clean sheets this season, 10 of which have come in away games.
Joe Hart, who gave a man of the match performance midweek, has been in superior form so the Southampton attackers will have their work well and truly cut out.
Striker Charlie Austin is unlikely to be fit in time for this weekend’s game, but will be eyeing a return in the following weeks. A knee injury has kept the forward out for most of the month.
The Saints are still without centre-half Florin Gardos, whose serious knee injury has kept the defender out all season.
Man City will want to wrap their star players up in cotton wool ahead of their semi-final clash with Real Madrid later next week.
Midfielders David Silva, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri will all miss the trip to the South coast in the hope they will be fit for City’s biggest game of the season at the Bernabeu.
League Positions: Southampton– 8th (54 pts); Manchester City – 3rd (64 pts)
Form: Southampton – WWLWDW; Manchester City – LWWWDW
Previous Meeting: Manchester City 3-1 Southampton – November 28, 2015; Premier League
Key Players: Southampton – Sadio Mane; Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne
Shoot Says: Southampton 1-2 Manchester City