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Southampton vs. Manchester City, 2017 Premier League: Players to Watch

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This is a really tough match for City, and these are the players who could star in this one

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Manchester City are set to travel to St. Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton in a Premier League match that could be a lot tougher than some might think.

In their match earlier this year, City were only able to get a 1-1 draw against the Saints. Southampton continue to be a very hard team to play against, but this time it might be a little easier to break them down given that their star defensive players, Virgil Van Dijk and Oriol Romeu, are out via injury/suspension.

City were not on good form entering last week’s tie against Hull City, but their 3-1 win was a confidence booster for the Sky Blues in an intense Top-4 race ahead.

Here are a few players who could impact Saturday's match:

Maya Yoshida

With the absences of Romeu and Van Dijk, Yoshida needs to step up for his team's defense. Yoshida has made only fifteen appearances in the Premier League this year after Van Dijk's injury, but his numbers show that he deserves more.

The Japanese center-back averages 7 clearances and 2.2 interceptions per game in the Premier League, and he is strong in aerial duels. Look for Yoshida to have a solid game if the Saints get a positive result.

John Stones

After a rough start to the season, Stones has stepped up and manned the City defense, which was shown last week against Hull, as he completed 95% of his passes, won all four of his aerial duels, and didn't make any mistakes.

The Englishman still has a lot to improve if he wants to become a world class defender. However, he could manage to do it on City’s final stretch of the Premier League season.

James Ward-Prowse

One of Southampton’s many unsung heroes, Ward-Prowse has shined during the second half of the season. In his last 10 appearances for the club, he has scored three times and assisted twice.

Additionally, the English midfielder is a fantastic passer, as he completed 90% of his passes last week against West Bromwich Albion and averages 1.4 key passes per game in the Premier League. Look for Ward-Prowse to lead the Saints' dangerous attacking midfield alongside Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic.

Fabian Delph

Forget about City’s big name midfielders for just one minute, as Fabian Delph is beginning to make a name for himself as a Citizen. After starting in City’s last two games, Delph has impressed Pep Guardiola with his passing and pressing ability.

Last week against Hull, Delph completed 94% of his passes and put two of his four shots on frame, including a absolute screamer to the right side of the net which beat Eldin Jakupovic. Now that the former Aston Villa savior has broken through City in the last two weeks, he might even stay with the club beyond this summer.