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Preview: Manchester City v Southampton

Shaun Botterill

This could be a pretty tough game. Southampton have been on fire the past few weeks, beating the snot out of Newcastle. They also narrowly lost to Tottenham, after dominating early. Jay Rodriguez, Rickie Lambert, and Adam Lallana have all been playing really well, and have been consistently getting on the score sheet. I'm more than a little nervous about not showing up for this game, and getting beaten.

Squad news first: Aguero has started training, but is not going to play this week. He is a maybe for next weekend v Liverpool, but even that seems like a maybe at this point. I mostly want him to come back fully ready, not just have him back fast. Matija Nastasic and Micah Richards are also both out.

Projected lineup: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya, Nasri, David Silva, Milner, Negredo.

I would go with Martin Demichelis, since he seems to do a little better than Lescott at playing against 2 strikers. I would also play James Milner to help track back in the midfield. Navas has been good, but not great lately. I think the sheer number of games that Navas has played has worn him out. He's already been in 62 games, including international. That's more than he's ever played, and there's 8 games left.

Negredo v Edin Dzeko is an interesting choice. Dzeko has been good lately, with 2 on the road at Old Trafford. Negredo hasn't scored in a while, and has been off his game. He's another guy who is playing more games than he ever has, at 55 and counting. His previous high was 51, back in 2010. He hasn't played much over the past few weeks, so I would pick him to be chomping at the bit and ready to go.

Prediction: Manchester City win this, but it's going to be late and nervy. I say 3-2 for City.