Pete gives us a history lesson on the City v Saints matchup.
City go into the match on the back of an 18-year unbeaten run that has seen the blues win 11 and draw 2 of their 13 matches in Manchester. Last season’s goalless draw was the first time Saints had prevented City from scoring at home since April 2004, when Southampton earned a 3-1 victory.
That clean sheet was only City’s second during their run, with Saints scoring on every other visit. For some reason, City find it almost impossible to keep a clean sheet. In fact, City have only kept 10 clean sheets in the history of this fixture.
The current run has firmly ended City’s uncertainty in this fixture. In the 12 matches between April 1987 and April 2004, City won just two matches and lost six, and the faithful will be hoping the blues can extend their run against the Premier League strugglers.
Pep’s starting XI presented by Laura.
In just 6 games at the Etihad, Manchester City have scored 27 goals, with Haaland involved in most of them. He was on for a 4th consecutive home hat-trick on Wednesday night against Copenhagen after scoring 2 in the first half and will have been disappointed to be subbed at half-time.
The blues will go into the game fresh off the back of a derby day victory, and a 5-0 dismantling of the opposition in the Champions League.
With some key players rested midweek, injuries, returns from injury and an excellent squad to pick from, there’s no doubt that I’ll get Pepped again;
The Boss is ready for a solid effort from St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association.
The points were shared against the Saints in both league games last season and Pep is sure that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will provide a threat once again.
A win at the weekend could see City return to the top of the Premier League, with leaders Arsenal playing on Sunday.
Asked what he expected from Southampton, Pep said: “The same [as previous seasons], a brave team.
“So aggressive and well organised. It doesn’t matter what happened in last games, they have a culture that I like a lot without the ball.
“We need to create a good rhythm. It’s an important fixture for us and we want to get another three points.
Pep won’t let the lads look past the South Coast visitors.
A jovial Pep took the presser with light hearted chumminess today. The Catalan manager had some updates on injuries, the food scene in Manchester, Haaland talk, and of course analyzing the Saints.
Let’s dive right in-
“We struggle every season to try to control. We’re ready to do a good game. I expect a brave team, so aggressive. So well organised. They have a culture I like a lot but we have to maintain this momentum and create good rhythm...”
“We cannot forget that one team has been better than us [so far this season]. Arsenal have been better than us...”
Pep Talk: “We never stop improving until we die.” https://t.co/34CGlitGaQ— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) October 7, 2022
Guardiola reacts after ‘joke’ Haaland petition called for ‘robot’ to be banned because it’s unfair - Ewan Gennery - Goal.co
It is kind of funny. To be honest.
WHAT HAPPENED? Haaland has made a blistering start to life in the Premier League, scoring 14 goals in the competition in just eight games. Some fans of opposition teams have already had enough of the Norwegian striker, creating a petition asking for him to be banned from playing for City!
WHAT HE SAID: Guardiola laughed off the suggestion of the petition, telling reporters: “Yeah, it’s a joke. It’s a joke, it’s good.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Remarkably, Guardiola went on to suggest that Haaland can actually improve “the connection with Kevin [De Bruyne], Phil [Foden], Riyad [Mahrez], Jack [Grealish]. Erling when he has the ball he knows what passes I like. He can improve every part of his game. Everyone knows he can do better. We can all improve until we die.”
Erling Haaland makes humble admission over stunning Man City goal form - Liam Wood - Manchester Evening News
Erling is feeling comfortable, the understatement of the decade,
Haaland is some way clear in the domestic charts with 14 goals in eight games — including a superb hat-trick to help settle the Manchester derby last weekend. However, while that is an unparalleled return, the 22-year-old insists credit must also go to his supply-line.
During an interview with MCFC media, Haaland said: “It’s a hard competition and I’m lucky to be in a really good team here at City. Hard work is really important, but you have to believe in yourself and you also have to be calm.
“I thought I would adapt but you never know in a new country, new city with new players and a new coach. You never know as sometimes things can take a bit more time, but for me it’s going quite quickly and I’m comfortable, that’s the most important thing.”
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne aiming to break Premier League assist record - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole
And finally... KDB looks to set a new Premier League mark.
De Bruyne provided an assist in each of his opening three top-flight games this season before registering another in gameweek six, taking him to the top of the division’s assist charts.
The Belgium international has maintained his position at the summit after providing two assists in each of his last two Premier League matches against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United, becoming the first players to do so since former teammate David Silva in August 2019.
Should De Bruyne set up two more goals against Southampton on Saturday, the playmaker will become the first player in Premier League history to record two assists in three successive games in the competition.
Indeed, De Bruyne has an impressive record against the Saints, scoring five goals and providing eight assists in 12 meetings including five goal contributions in his last five encounters.
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne aiming to break Premier League assist record https://t.co/NeeS1oPOBv— Sports Mole (@SportsMole) October 7, 2022
That’s it for now Cityzens. Stay with us throughout the day for all the latest leading up to the match against Southampton. And follow along on Twitter with @BitterandBlue1. Come on City!!!