So, what happened while I was away? Oh, is that all. Honestly, I can't remember being more excited to watch a replay. Last week, it was a fait accompli we were out of Champions League but that was last week. Now, we're looking at advancing with a road win at Roma. A fine way to prepare for such a match is by winning on the road, period.
St. Mary's stadium has not been the house of horrors for us like, oh, the Stadium of Light but there are easier places to get points. Southampton is always tough at home. It doesn't help our cause that the Saints are currently playing some damn fine football and currently sit rather comfortably in 2nd place. In our favor is the Saints less than spectacular showing two weeks previous and that they'll be a little banged up for Sunday's match. That and they lack the superstar we currently have.
It's my firm belief that in order to win a league, you almost always have to have a superstar. If you're going into battle without a few of the ten-to-twenty best players in any given league, you're going to struggle. This is all to say that Southampton had a helluva good side last season, boasting a pair of fine players (Lallana and Shaw) who are now gone... and somehow they are playing even better football (8 wins and a draw in 11 matches). Manager Ronald Koeman will be manager of the year if Southampton makes the CL and might be deserving even if the Saints come up short.
As for our Citizens, they'll be without the services of David Silva (still), Edin Dzeko (might be ready next weekend) and our patron saint of Christmas cheer, Aleksander Kolarov.
As always, we preface this by saying that while I have my own opinions on who should start, Pellegirni is better at this than you and better at this than me. My lineup:
GK--Joe Hart who probably shouldn't get too much grief for Bayern's first goal though he's had better moments. He's had a fine season and is nowhere near the guy who struggled so mightily at this time last season.
LB--Gael Clichy who looked damn good against Bayern, thanks for asking. He's getting every minute while Kolarov recovers and he's picking a great time to play his best football of the season.
CB--Eliaquim Mangala, speaking of folk who played quite well against Bayern. Start him again so he can maintain some consistency.
CB--Vincent Kompany. I'd rather have this guy than any CB on the planet.
RB--Pablo Zabaleta. And speaking of folk who played quite well against Bayern, how good of a signing has Bacary Sagna been? Pretty damn good, if you ask me.
LM--Samir Nasri who, in my not so humble opinion, is having his finest season in a City shirt.
MF--Yaya Toure, who should be well rested after serving his suspension.
MF--Fernandinho, see above.
RM--James Milner who got subbed out for Jovetic in the 66th minute. I think he's a good match against the Saints.
ST--Stevan Jovetic who is every bit the effort player James Milner is, here's hoping more than a few people are noticing as much.
ST--Sergio Aguero. City fans have known what the rest of the world is now finding out--health permitting, he's the best striker in the world.
Prediction: City in a wild one, 3-2.
Poll is below. You know what to do.