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Manuel Akanji returns, Jack Grealish retains place - Predicted Team: Manchester City vs Southampton (Premier League)

Srinivas Sadhanand

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Manuel Akanji returns, Jack Grealish retains place - Predicted Team: Manchester City vs Southampton (Premier League)

Coming off the back of a 5-0 thumping of Copenhagen in the Champions League, Manchester City will certainly have a strut in their step ahead of their upcoming clash against Southampton.

Considering the Sky Blues cruised past Manchester United in a 6-3 home win in their previous Premier League fixture, this side is firing on all cylinders currently.

A win against Southampton this weekend would Pep Guardiola’s side the perfect opportunity to put pressure on table toppers Arsenal, who face Liverpool on Sunday evening.

With three defeats in their last three league games, the Saints are most certainly not in the best vein of form.

Amid rumours of a potential sacking for Ralph Hasenhüttl doing the rounds in the build-up to the weekend, the Premier League's 16th placed side are not best placed to go to arguably the most devastating team in world football currently.

In a contest that seems like a significant mismatch on paper, here is how we expect Manchester City to line-up!

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As per standard procedure, Ederson will start in goal.

With Kyle Walker recently undergoing a successful groin surgery, the 32-year-old will be unavailable, which makes Joao Cancelo the automatic choice at right-back.

Manuel Akanji is likely to be handed yet another start in the Premier League, especially after putting in a commanding display in Manchester City’s 6-3 win against United last Sunday.

Ruben Dias will retain his place after helping his side keep a clean sheet against Copenhagen on Wednesday night, especially after being left out of the Manchester Derby last week.

After an impressive display at left-back in mid-week, Sergio Gomez could be handed his first-ever start in the Premier League against Southampton.

Sergio Gomez in action for Manchester City.
Sergio Gomez in action for Manchester City.

With Rodri returning to the bench against Copenhagen following a minor calf injury that ruled him out of the Manchester derby, the Spanish international could start from the off against the Saints this weekend.

With Bernardo Silva likelier to start against Liverpool in the Premier League clash that follows the meeting with Southampton, Pep Guardiola may look to start Ilkay Gundogan instead on Saturday afternoon.

As Kevin De Bruyne was rested against Copenhagen, the Belgian is expected to return to fold against the Saints.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with team mates Phil Foden and Rodri (Image: Action Plus Sports Images/Alamy)
Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with team mates Phil Foden and Rodri (Image: Action Plus Sports Images/Alamy)

The same goes for Phil Foden, who also did not come off the bench in the Sky Blues’ recent 5-0 rout.

Coming off the back of a first-half brace in mid-week before being taken off at half-time, Erling Haaland will be raring to go as he also looks to score his fourth consecutive hat-trick in the league at the Etihad Stadium.

After securing the UEFA Player of the Match award for his performance against Copenhagen, Jack Grealish is virtually a guaranteed starter on Saturday as he looks to continue his rise in form.

Jack Grealish in Champions League action for Manchester City.
Jack Grealish in Champions League action for Manchester City.

Starting XI: Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Sergio Gomez; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne; Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish.

Substitutes: Stefan Ortega Moreno, Rico Lewis, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Bernardo Silva, Cole Palmer, Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez.

Featured Image Credit: UK Sports Pics Ltd / Alamy

Topics: Manchester City, Southampton, Premier League, Football

Srinivas Sadhanand
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