I’m starting to dislike these types of matches - a lot.
There’s only so much fun one can have watching City batter opponents at The Etihad every other week; with 80% possession; the opposition barely venturing out of their own half – it’s the height of tedium.
Southampton are the next lambs ready to be slaughtered, and they don’t have a prayer. I don’t even think this will be a rampant Manchester City mauling, it’ll just be a functional and supremely comfortable win-to-nil against a Saints side who just don’t score goals.
And when I say they don’t score goals, they really don’t score goals – they have now failed to score in their last five Premier League matches, firing their latest blank at home to a desperately poor Newcastle side.
The Saints succumbed to a 96th minute Raheem Sterling winner in this fixture last season, but Sunday’s match will be nothing like this. Their 3-0 defeat at Anfield is a better indication of how this game will pan out, which is why I’m kicking off with a City -2 win.
Mark Hughes’ men have kept four clean sheets in the league, which is respectable and shows they have a certain level of resilience, but that’ll count for diddly squat against City’s forwards.
As usual, deciding on a goalscorer for Manchester City games is tricky business, due to the sheer number of players who are capable of scoring goals coupled with Guardiola’s rotation.
However, Sergio Agüero to score first at a price-boosted $3.80* certainly caught my eye. The Argentine has scored first on three occasions in the league this season – against Huddersfield, Cardiff and Burnley (teams of Southampton’s ilk) – so, therefore, I’m tipping him to make it four on Sunday.
It’s always interesting looking at the exact score market for these types of matches, and this one hasn’t disappointed.
The bookies have given shorter odds for a 7-0 Manchester City win than a 1-0 Southampton win; that’s the disparity we are talking about here.
For my final tip, I’m going to back a 3-0 City win. Simple.