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Southampton v Manchester City

28th December 2018, 17:40 by James Mason

Southampton will be hoping to pile the misery on Manchester City when the two go head-to-head at St Mary's on Sunday.

City have lost their spot at the top of the Premier League standings after suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time in two years to Crystal Palace and Leicester City, whilst the latest loss to the Foxes was their third from the last four league games.

The Citizens are under pressure to chase down table-toppers Liverpool and Pep Guardiola's men will need to sharpen up at the back as they have failed to register a clean sheet in their last nine matches in all competitions.

Former Spain international David Silva is pushing for a start after recovering from a hamstring complaint, whilst Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have had no further setbacks from their recent injury woes and are both expected to start once again.

Southampton's two-game winning run was ended with a 2-1 defeat at home to West Ham United last time out and the Saints will be eager for a quick response as they continue to battle against relegation.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men have only won one of 10 league games this season against sides in the top half of the table, losing seven of those matches, but they have scored seven league goals in their four matches under the Austrian, as many as in their previous 10 fixtures combined.

Michael Obafemi is doubtful to play after he missed the defeat to the Hammers with a knock, whilst Mario Lemina could be rested after appearing to struggle with a stomach injury last time out.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is expected to return to the starting line-up after serving his one-match suspension.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.

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