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INSIDE INFO: A Manchester City fan speaks ahead of Southampton's visit on Saturday

We speak to Citizen Jay of SB Nation's Manchester City blog Bitter and Blue for all things Citeh.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Southampton's away form has been impressive since the start of the 2015/16 season, remaining unbeaten on their travels.

However, this record is truly being put to the test on Saturday as Ronald Koeman's men travel up to Manchester to take on Sergio Aguero and co. at the Etihad.

To get the lowdown ahead of the big game, spoke to Citizen Jay of SB Nation's City blog Bitter and Blue to get his take on City, Saints and why City fans are glad to see Graziano Pelle out through suspension.


St. Mary's Musings: How do you assess City's season so far?

Citizen Jay: I think so far, other than a few performances, it hasn't been all that bad. The start we had was amazing, beating West Brom, Chelsea, Everton, Watford and Palace and not conceding a goal in the process had some fans and pundits thinking they were seeing the start of an invincible season. That was never going to happen and home to West Ham was where that thought ended.

Since then we have qualified out of the Champions League with games to spare, although to not finish top might take the gloss off a little.

Losing 4-1 to Spurs and the Liverpool are the real concerns though and last weekend in particular showed we still need strength in depth.

SMM: There is a lot of talk about City's injuries. How big a problem are they and who is the biggest loss?

CJ: It certainly seems to be that we don't go into any game without talk of several ‘key' players missing. Certainly having Sergio Aguero back is a positive. That said, having Vincent Kompany out still worries me. Last weekend, against Liverpool, our central defensive pairing looked slow and made silly mistakes. The sooner he can come back to keep that back line tight, the better.

SMM: As a neutral, what do you think about Southampton?

CJ: I like Southampton as a club. I think they are one of the clubs most neutral fans like to see do well (just not this upcoming Saturday if you please!) A lot of that might have to do with the fact you had Matt Le Tissier in your side, pretty much a one club guy who should, and probably would, have had more England call ups than he did if at another club.

City started the slide into the third tier of English football in 1996, under the guidance of ex Saints legend Alan Ball. Meanwhile, a day before we would lose at home to Wolves, you guys were beating United 6-3! We would eventually go down to the third tier and be on the brink of financial ruin only to come back. A decade later Southampton were also in a similar situation, and you also fought back. That gives us a common experience.

I have to admit though, as a City fan, when I think of Southampton I think of the Georgi Kinkladze goal (which should have been goal of the season).

SMM: Saints are currently unbeaten away from home this season. How do you rate their chances against City?

CJ: I think you have to consider you have a decent shout. We are still without some key players and now we may also be without Joe Hart, which doesn't boost confidence. I think you have allowed the least attempts on goal inside the area of any Premier League side and that could be a concern.

Your manager will also be expecting a reaction from the side after the Stoke defeat and you haven't lost two in a row since May.

SMM: Who is the man for Saints fans to look out for come Saturday?

CJ: There are not a lot of City players who came out of last weekends game with their heads held high. Each and everyone of them, with the possible exception of Hart and Aguero, will be looking to convince the gaffer they are worthy of their place. Personally I have a feeling that this is a game Raheem Sterling will have a say in, certainly he enjoyed playing against you while at Liverpool.

SMM: In your opinion, what Saints player are you most fearful of and why?

CJ: I think Graziano Pelle is someone I would look at to cause problems, so I am glad he will be suspended for Saturdays game. Tall and likes to score important goals and more importantly, goals against the bigger sides. Scored twice against United and then again away in the win against Chelsea. Six league goals already this season which is only one behind Aguero.

The truth is there are a number of options available and all have the potential to be dangerous. Sadio Mane is one candidate and Shane Long is always difficult to play against.

SMM: If you could sign any Saints player, who would it be and why?

CJ: Okay so I am going to take a liberty with this question and give you two answers. If we had a totally fit Manchester City side then I would be looking at the man mentioned above, Pelle. I think he could do a job for us alongside Aguero or to give Aguero a rest. Certainly Bony isn't setting the world alight currently and Iheanacho should not be rushed.

Potentially though, as things stand, I think we could do with some young legs in our defence. A decent shout would be Virgil Van Dijk. Only 24 years old he is doing a good job for you and at 6ft 4 and with the best yet to come I think he would have to be given a look.

SMM: If you could sell any of City's regular starting XI, who would it be and why?

CJ: So it is rumored that Martin Demichelis is looking to leave in January and if that is true then I think many City fans will wish him well but not be too upset. Not many others from the regular starting eleven I would consider selling really unless they really didn't want to stay.

SMM: Finally, what do you think the score will be?

CJ: In my column I had put that the score for this match would be 2-2. Certainly with everything going on for City that wouldn't be a bad result, although could see us slip to fifth. I think Steven Davis will open the scoring for you before Aguero and Raheem give us the lead (most likely either side of the half). Then in the final ten or so minutes up pops Shane Long, most likely in space, to score the equaliser.