Manchester City-Southampton Preview
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Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola insisted he is not focusing on personal milestones ahead of the trip to Southampton.
The runaway Premier League leaders are 11 points clear of second-placed Liverpool, having overcome fellow title contenders Chelsea 1-0 in their last game.
A draw on Saturday on the south coast would see Guardiola take his tally to 500 points with City since his appointment in 2016, but he warned that he was not bothered about the landmark.
"I'm not thinking of this when it hasn't happened. It will happen sooner or later," Guardiola responded while adding that his focus is squarely on Southampton.
"We struggled in the first game last season when we played there. When we played home, we won, but we struggle in the actions. Southampton are a tough team. A real tough team."
Ralph Hasenhuttl's Saints have turned a corner in recent weeks, though they did follow up a 4-1 crushing of Brentford with a 3-1 reverse at Wolves last game.
The hosts sit 12th in the league after an upturn in form but Hasenhuttl is expecting a near-impossible task against City, who he feels have already won the league.
"If it wouldn't be Man City I would say maybe it's not over but I cannot see them dropping this amount of points with the way they're playing," Hasenhuttl told reporters. "For me, they are by far the best team in the league, not only because of the points they have.
"They are one of the biggest challenges we have every year, but also one of the challenges I like the most because this is why you are in the Premier League, why you want to face these games and these teams because you learn. You see how tight the Premier League is but they seem to be the only team that has the consistency to win games consistently at the moment."
Southampton – Armando Broja
Broja has scored in his first four home Premier League starts, netting one goal each time. In Premier League history, the only player to score in his first five home starts is Gary Penrice for Queens Park Rangers between September and December 1992.
Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne has been involved in 11 goals in his last 14 Premier League starts (9 goals, 2 assists). He has assisted in all three of his league starts at St Mary's (4 in total), with only Harry Kane assisting more goals at St Mary's as an away player (5).
- Southampton have won their last two Premier League home games against sides starting the day top of the table, beating Everton and Liverpool last season. The last side to win more consecutive home league games against the league leaders were Tottenham, who did four in a row between January 2015 and January 2017.
- Southampton are unbeaten in their last seven home Premier League games (W3 D4), their best unbeaten run at St Mary's since a run of nine between March and October 2016.
- Manchester City have won their last 12 Premier League games in a row by an aggregate score of 34-7; since losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace in October, they have won 36 points, 13 more than any other Premier League side.
- After keeping five clean sheets in eight Premier League games between September and November, Southampton have conceded in each of their last 10 matches in the competition, shipping 21 goals in the process.
- Manchester City have opened the scoring in more different Premier League games than any other side this season, going on to win all 17 games in which they scored first.
Updated January 21, 2022