Manchester City find themselves back at square one as they take on Southampton on Saturday.
City have lost twice in a row and now are looking to avoid their second loss at home for the first time since the takeover year of 2008 when Mark Hughes was running the show. The last time City lost at home was earlier in the year to Spurs, and the next two matches that succeeded resulted in eleven goals.
Injuries have played such a crucial part in City's campaign. Sergio Aguero hasn't played a full 90 minutes in the two matches he's been in since returning from his hamstring pull that kept him out for a month. But Kun is healthy, as is David Silva. This will be the first time Silva has seen action since the October international break, and his creativity has been sorely missed at the top of the midfield.
Joe Hart has picked up a knock and will be out of action for ten days, and in his stead will be Willy Caballero. Caballero is anxious to redeem himself after the Tottenham disaster, and a hungry defense will also be looking to prove that they can shut down a Southampton team that has not lost on the away from home this year.
The Saints will be without their striker, Italian international Graziano Pelle, who is out on suspension. Shane Long will be spearheading the attack. Long's movement will surely be a tough ask for City's defense, and without the aid of Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala, expect the Saints to go after Demichelis' pace as well as Caballeros lack of game time chemistry with the men in front of him.
City need this win to get back into form, and Southampton manager Ronald Koeman knows this, but he isn't taking it lightly. "Teams like City are used to having that pressure about winning games," said Koeman in his presser. After three matches without a victory, it's safe to say that City will come out with the intensity that supporters are used to seeing.
If not, those Pep rumors are really going to flare up.