Southampton vs Manchester City preview: Mahrez rested after early return from AFCON

By Ric Turner, Fri 21 January 2022 14:48

Southampton vs Manchester City preview: Mahrez rested after early return from AFCONNathan Ake returns to squad but Oleks Zinchenko remains sidelined

Southampton vs Manchester City

Competition: F.A. Premier League

Date: 5.30 pm, Saturday 22nd January 2022

Venue: St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Referee: Simon Hooper Assistants: S Long, D Eaton Fourth Official: A Marriner VAR: D England

Odds: Southampton 10/1, Draw 5/1, City 1/4

Tickets: Sold out

TV: Sky Sports

Manchester City

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Squad (from): Ederson, Carson, Slicker, Walker, Dias, Stones, Ake, Laporte, Cancelo, Gundogan, Grealish, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Silva, Fernandinho, Foden, McAtee, Sterling, Jesus

Injured: Zinchenko, Mahrez, Palmer

Doubtful: Delap

Suspended: Mendy

Form guide: WWWWW


Manager: Ralph Hassenhütl

Squad (from): Caballero, Lewis, Forster, Walker-Peters, Lyanco, Stephens, Perraud, Small, Salisu, Bednarek, Simeu, Valery, Romeo, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Armstrong, Tella, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Long, Armstrong, Adams, Broja, Walcott

Injured: Smallbone, McCarthy, Djenepo, Livramento

Doubtful: Walcott, Elyounoussi

Suspended: None

Form guide: WDWWL

Riyad Mahrez is unavailable for selection, despite returning from hte African Cup of Nations following Algeria's early exit from the competition. Instead he will be allowed to rest for a week.

"Now he has a holiday for a week," said Pep Guardiola at Friday's press conference.

"After the AFCON, he has permission for one week off and will come back with the team next week."

Nathan Ake returns to the squad after missing the victory against Chelsea, but Oleksandr Zinchenko remains sidelined.

Saints took a point at The Etihad earlier in the season, and Guardiola is expecting another difficult challenge tomorrow.

“We struggled in the first leg last season when we played there. It’s a tough team. A really, really tough team.

“It’s always a tough game with the quality they have. The manager (Ralph Hassenhuttl) is exceptional, one of the best in the Premier League by far.

“The players know we have an incredible challenge tomorrow.”

City have a two week break following the game at St Mary's, and Guardiola intends to allow his players some time off, although a planned trip to Abu Dhabi has been cancelled.

"We spoke with the club and it’s not safe to go all together (to Abu Dhabi) with the virus," said Guardiola.

"Instead, we decided everyone to go for themselves with family and friends."

City won their last away game at St Mary's 1-0, with Raheem Sterling scoring for the Blues. Overall City have won 38 of the 96 games played against the Saints, with 26 draws and 32 defeats.

Predicted line-up: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Foden

Score prediction: Southampton 1 City 2