Manchester City continue their pursuit of a third Premier League title in four seasons as the welcome Southampton to the Etihad Stadium. The blues will be eager to put Sunday’s derby defeat behind them and look to get back to winning ways against the struggling Saints.
Much has been made of Sunday’s defeat, but the blues are still on course for glory and the faithful will no doubt be expecting a blue backlash on Wednesday night.
It’s hard to believe that this Southampton side, that sit 14th in the Premier League going into tonight’s match, were at the end of November just three points off the top of the table. At that time, Saints had on 5 of their opening 9 fixtures, and had a goal difference of +4. At the same time, City were 13th in the league, having won just three out of 8 matches with a goal difference of -1.
Fast forward to today and the two have swapped positions and then some. While City won 17 of the following 20 matches, Saints won just 4 from 18, dropped to 14th in the league and have a goal difference of -11, and while they are seven points clear of the relegation zone, some supporters will be anxiously looking over their shoulders at Fulham, Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley all involved in a relegation fight.
Southampton won only their second Premier League match of 2021 at the weekend, when they overcame Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramhall Lane. Their only previous league win came on 4th January, when the beat Liverpool 1-0 at St Mary’s. During that time, Saints have lost 8 Premier League matches, including a 9-0 thrashing at Old Trafford, the second season running they have conceded 9 in one match.
Danny Ings is the main threat to the blues. The former Liverpool strike has scored 9 this season, but surprisingly for a Premier League striker, Ings has only had 39 shots from 25 matches, giving him a goal conversion rate of 23%.
As you would expect, James Ward-Prowse is up there too, chipping in with 7 goals from 31 matches. With just 29 shots, Ward-Prowse has a slightly better goal conversion rate than Ings with 24%.
Ward-Prowse leads the assist chart, creating 40 chances and providing 5 assists. Ward-Prowse has attempted 2,032 passes, the highest of any of the Southampton team, and has completed 1,761, a pass accuracy of a decent 87%.
Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong are also up there with 4 each. Adams has played more matches than Armstrong, but the latter has a better pass accuracy. From 30 games, Adams has attempted 495 passes, completing 336 meaning an accuracy of 68%. Meanwhile Armstrong has played 5 games less, yet attempted 862 passes and completing 691, giving him an accuracy of 80%.
Who’s The Boss?
Despite overseeing two 9-0 thrashings in two season, Ralph Hasenhuttl is still in the Southampton hotseat. He has presided over 100 Saints matches, winning 38 and losing 40 and his win percentage of 38% is his second lowest as a manager.
City’s incredible 21 match winning run started with a 1-0 win at Southampton in December, and the faithful will be hoping a similar run will start again, which will carry them to the Premier League title, with the possibility of more.
But the Saints will always be remembered as the team that came to Maine Road on the final day of the 2003 season and won 1-0, bringing an end to an era at the famous old ground with a typical defeat.