Manchester City will look to keep rivals Manchester United at arm’s length in the race for the top four when they take on Southampton on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s men travel to St Mary’s for the day’s evening match and will be in for a stern test against a side unbeaten in three matches.
The Saints are looking to secure a place in the top half of the table and may be able to welcome impact signing Manolo Gabbiadini back after injury.
|Game||Southampton vs Manchester City|
|Date||Saturday, April 15, 2017|
|Time||17:30 GMT, 12:30 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 1 and by stream via the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport app|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on NBC and by stream via NBC Sports Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBC||NBC Sports Live|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Forster, Taylor, Hassen|
|Defenders||Cedric, Yoshida, Gardos, Martina, Pied, Stephens, Bertrand, Caceres|
|Midfielders||Clasie, Davis, Tadic, Ward-Prowse, Reed, Redmond, Hojbjerg, Boufal, Isgrove, Hesketh, McQueen, Sims|
|Forwards||Long, Rodriguez, Gabbiadini|
Southampton hope to have Gabbiadini, Steven Davis and Sofiane Boufal back, but Charlie Austin will need to build up his fitness with the Under-23s before returning.
Matt Targett, Alex McCarthy and Virgil van Dijk remain out and Oriol Romeu is suspended. Jeremy Pied is fit after a serious knee injury and in line for first-team minutes before the end of the season.
Potential starting XI: Forster; Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand; Clasie, Hojbjerg; Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond; Long.
|Position||Man City players|
|Defenders||Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Clichy, Otamendi, Stones, Adarabioyo|
|Midfielders||Fernando, Navas, De Bruyne, Delph, Silva, Fernandinho, Toure, Sane, Garcia, Diaz|
|Forwards||Sterling, Aguero, Iheanacho, Nolito|
Bacary Sagna will miss out for Manchester City due to an adductor injury, but Vincent Kompany is available after sitting out the victory over Hull City as a precaution.
Neither Claudio Bravo nor Willy Caballero has been hugely convincing in net in recent weeks, and Guardiola suggested either could play here. Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan are long-term absentees.
Potential starting XI: Bravo; Navas, Stones, Kompany, Clichy; De Bruyne, Delph, Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Manchester City are 5/6 favourites to win away, according to Oddschecker, with Southampton priced at 18/5 and the draw available at 3/1.
Sergio Aguero is the favourite to score first at 7/2, with Kelechi Iheanacho rated at 11/2 and Gabbiadini the top Saints choice at 13/2.
Manchester City’s top-four bid will rest on their ability to defend.
Pep Guardiola’s men are in a good shape up front, with the attacking three of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero meshing well and David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne ensuring they see plenty of the ball.
Behind that front five, however, it is entirely possible that only John Stones will keep his spot next season. Jesus Navas is the latest incumbent at right-back, Fabian Delph is now playing in holding midfield and the rest of Guardiola’s options are either injury-hit or inconsistent.
Vincent Kompany could boost their chances by seeing through a few games between now and the end of the season, but most will have to see that to believe it at this stage given the precarious nature of the Belgian’s fitness.
Southampton have taken seven points of the last nine available and are trending upwards. Claude Puel finally seems to have decided on a settled team and the Saints are reaping the rewards, with Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens surprising many with their competence at centre-back in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and the departed Jose Fonte.
Having come in for some criticism at times this year, a top-half finish and a cup final would represent a more than respectable first season in English football for Puel.