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During a tumultuous recovery from a ruptured ACL, Will Smallbone was diagnosed with alopecia. The academy graduate made a warmly received return to the first team in December but has since been suffering from a calf injury.
Tino Livramento’s first involvement of 2022 remains in the balance as Southampton continue to assess his recovery from a knee injury. Theo Walcott and Mohamed Elyounoussi have returned to training after the pair’s COVID layoff.
You can read Southampton’s predicted lineup here.
Man City team news
Southampton may have earned four points from their last four Premier League meetings with City but they have won just one of the 12 fixtures between the clubs since Pep Guardiola’s arrival in the summer of 2016 (D2 L9).
However, the last three victories Southampton have claimed against City have all come on home soil – not since 2004 have the Saints prevailed against the Sky Blues anywhere other than the south coast.
Southampton vs Man City score prediction
City may appear imperious at the league’s summit but Southampton were well worth the point they wrestled off the reigning champions in September. Playing an adventurous and well-coordinated high block, the Saints bottlenecked City into their own half, allowing Pep Guardiola’s side a season-low 27 passes into the final third (per FBRef).
However, on that balmy September afternoon City were without their increasingly pivotal pivot Rodri to help pick through the red and white stripes. Playing with the swagger of a team that has won 12 consecutive top flight matches, City may well make it 13 even though Southampton have the capacity to cause them problems.
Prediction: Southampton 0-1 Manchester City