Premier League

Aguero to start – How Manchester City could line up against Southampton

The Argentine is in line to make just a third start of the Premier League season as Pep Guardiola's side face a match they cannot afford to lose.

 
10:48am on Friday 18th December 2020
By
Robin Bairner

Manchester City travel to Southampton on Saturday a team under pressure.

A 1-1 draw against West Brom on Tuesday saw Pep Guardiola’s side lose more ground in the race for the Premier League title and, remarkably, saw such widespread calls for the manager’s head that it started to trend on social media.

Guardiola, having recently signed a new deal with the club, is going nowhere soon but his side are facing something of a credibility crisis.

Aston Villa, West Ham, Everton and Saints, who lie third in the standings, are among the teams to have won more Premier League games than them this term.

This may be City’s final game before Christmas, yet it the club are already straying dangerously close to ‘must-win’ territory.

Guardiola should have a strong panel to pick from. Centre-back Eric Garcia and left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko will be assessed. Pep, however, indicated that Garcia would be missing for “two or three weeks” prior to the derby draw with Manchester United last week, suggesting he will not be fit.

Given the lack of scoring punch that was displayed by Gabriel Jesus in midweek, Sergio Aguero is liable to be given the nod to feature in the starting XI for the first time since injury.

Having been frozen to the bench in midweek, it would be surprising if Riyad Mahrez did not feature from the outset, probably in conjunction with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

{related_artticles}

City’s outstanding player in midweek was midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. He should be retained in the starting XI, assuming there has been no issues with regards his recent injury troubles, and will play alongside Fernandinho, who is set to replace Rodri.

Changes are set to come in defence, too. Ruben Dias will retain his spot but otherwise no-one is safe. Poor in midweek, Benjamin Mendy is likely to drop out, while John Stones, in good form of late, should return.

Southampton, meanwhile, could have the luxury of a full squad to select from as they continue their unlikely challenge towards the summit of the league.

Manchester City starting XI versus Southampton

Manchester City - Football tactics and formations

Latest news

European Golden Shoe

European Golden Shoe 2021/22: Lewandowski wins again as Mbappe grabs second

The Bayern striker has claimed glory in the award for a second straight year and some big name rivals were also prominent in the European golden boot race.

  • 6 months
European Assists King

European Assists King 2021/22: Mbappe and Muller share award as Messi makes podium

The PSG and Bayern forwards could not be separated in the creative standings as the club season reached its conclusion.

  • 6 months
Premier League

Premier League top scorers 2021/22: Salah and Son share Golden Boot, Ronaldo 3rd

The Liverpool and Tottenham stars have finished level in the final goalscoring standings for England's top flight this season.

  • 6 months
Premier League

Premier League Table: Manchester City beat Liverpool to title

Manchester City claimed the Premier League title on the final day of the season, edging Liverpool into second

  • 6 months
Standings

La Liga Table: Sevilla book Champions League qualification

Sevilla have booked their place in next season's Champions League after drawing 1-1 at Atletico Madrid on Sunday evening.

  • 6 months

How Chelsea and Liverpool could line up in FA Cup final

Chelsea's last chance at silverware comes in Saturday's FA Cup final while Liverpool are bidding for a historic quadruple

  • 6 months

Most read