Seeking to remain in touch with Premier League leaders Arsenal, reigning champions Manchester City travel to St Mary’s to face basement club Southampton on Saturday evening. While the Citizens have picked up 10 points from their last four top-flight away games, the Saints have accumulated the same number of points across their 14 home matches this season – the fewest of any team in the division.
Southampton boss Selles has confirmed that Che Adams and Mohammed Salisu – who both picked up injuries during the international break – remain sidelined along with Valentino Livramento and Juan Larios, the latter of whom is ruled out for the rest of the season.
Armel Bella-Kotchap missed the defeat at West Ham after sustaining a shoulder injury just seven minutes into the draw with Tottenham, and the centre-back is still a “question mark” for Selles ahead of Saturday.
A back four of Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Duje Caleta-Car and Romain Perraud is set to remain intact, while Romeo Lavia and Carlos Alvarez will battle to start in centre-midfield alongside captain and top scorer James Ward-Prowse.
Theo Walcott could be handed a third successive start in attack, while Mara may find his spot in the first XI under threat from either Kamaldeen Sulemana or Paul Onuachu.
As for Man City, Guardiola has confirmed that goal machine Erling Braut Haaland is “ready” to play against Southampton after recovering from a groin injury that forced him to miss the win over Liverpool.
Guardiola will likely manage Haaland’s minutes, though, with one eye on next week’s Champions League tie, so Alvarez has a chance of continuing in attack following an impressive performance last weekend.
Defensive trio Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte and Rico Lewis will all be looking to force their way back into the starting lineup after watching on as unused substitutes last weekend, while Bernardo Silva could be recalled to start in either centre-midfield or on the right side of attack.
Phil Foden remains unavailable as he recovers from appendix surgery, while De Bruyne could continue in the middle of the pitch alongside Gundogan and Rodri, and the Belgian playmaker will be looking to register his 100th Premier League assist.
Southampton possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Caleta-Car, Perraud; S. Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Lavia, Elyounoussi; Walcott, Sulemana
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish
Prediction: Southampton 0-3 Manchester City
Despite suffering defeat in their last visit to St Mary’s, Man City will be regarded as strong favourites to claim maximum points on Saturday and boost their hopes of closing the gap to leaders Arsenal.
City demonstrated their clinical qualities in front of goal without the presence of Haaland in the win over Liverpool, but the Norwegian’s potential return is sure to frighten a Saints side who are struggling to both score and grind out positive results in their quest to avoid the drop.