It will be up to the fired and undefeated leader of the 2017/2018 Premier League edition to close on Wednesday, November 29, the fourteenth round of the competition. At Ethirad Stadium, Manchester City will host Southampton. The kickoff is scheduled for 18h (Brasília time).
The recent performance of Manchester City
The midweek journey opens an intense season of matches in England. In December, the country has the traditional sequence of games almost daily between the period of Christmas and New Year with the realization of three whole days. In addition, decisive games are played by the League Cup and, in early January, the clubs of great investment open their participation in the Glass of England.
This means less recovery time for players between matches, scarce time for training, more bruises, relay in the starting team and, of course, drop in the quality of football presented.
The City, however, as in the fable of the cicada and the ant seems to be very well prepared for this period considered decisive by many when defining the title of the English Championship. Non-featherweight has spent about $ 1 billion in signings in the last window of the market, as it should be further strengthened in January aiming to have the strength to pursue the title of the Champions League.
Thinking about it from the start, coach Pepe Guardiola put his team in ‘top speed’ mode from the start. Thus, it obtained a considerable advantage in the comparison with the main rivals of the Premier League. On Sunday, November 26, he defeated Huddersfield, away from home, by 2 to 1, reaching 37 points (12 wins and a draw) of the 39 played so far. By the end of Day 13, he had eight more than United, ranked second.
Excellent performance is extended to other tournaments. The Blues have secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a two-day lead. Thus, they have used the remaining games as training. The last will be in early December. In addition, they ensured survival in the League Cup match, which allows fans to dream of adding four more trophies in their gallery at the end of the season.
The implacable numbers are capable of sustaining this optimism. City’s most recent defeat in an official match took place on April 5, still in the 2016/2017 English League season. In London, it took 2 to 1 of Chelsea. There have been 24 wins and five draws since then. The duel on Wednesday is the opportunity to complete three dozen games without losing.
For that, Guardiola has only two defensive lows. They are in injury treatment side Benjamin Mendy (four games in the English Championship 2017/2018, no goal) and defender John Stones (12 games, no goal).
The current form of Southampton
After signaling that he could attend more intensively the zone of classification for European tournaments, the sale of some of its main players made that the Southampton has lost some of the breath. However, the strategy has served to keep the team comfortably in the middle of the leaderboard.
On Sunday, November 26, a 4-1 win at St. Mary’s led the team to tenth place. He reached 16 points (four wins, four draws and five losses). They are eight fewer than Tottenham, who closed Day 13 in fifth place to complement the squad in front, and six more than West Ham, who opened the sticking region. It seems to be the maximum to expect from Southampton, who with 13 goals scored has the worst attack in the top ten.
Argentine coach Mauricio Pellegrino, who is making his first season at the club, will be able to count on Spanish Oriol Romeu (12 games in the 2017/2018 English Championship without a goal) for the game in Manchester. Against Everton, he has been suspended for the accumulation of yellow cards and is released to act. Out of action for injury, French striker Jeremy Pied follows.
History of the bouts between Manchester City and Southampton
In the last ten games between the teams, the City has accumulated six victories. The other four games were split between Southampton draws and successes.
Southampton can not be considered an amazing team. Do what is expected of him. A solid game, based on the defensive system as well as Pellegrino deployed in Alavés, runner-up of the Spanish King’s Cup last season. It does not seem enough to hold Manchester City, the best option for the duel with a prize of 1.20 in Bet365. Draw shows return of 8.00 and successful visitor provides payment of 15.00 per invested real.