On Saturday, Southampton will take on last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad.
It won’t be easy an easy game by any means for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints, so we tried to get some intel on our upcoming opponents.
We spoke to Thomas Duck from SB Nation’s Manchester City blog Bitter and Blue in an attempt to glean some information coming direct from City fans.
In return, you can read my thoughts on their blog.
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SMM: Hello Thomas! How do you assess Manchester City’s start to the new Premier League season?
I think the club were clearly affected by the compacted summer schedule. The team took a few games to get back to some kind of form, but they have been able to piece it back together nicely of late.
Three straight Premier League wins, scoring 11 goals and conceding none, has been an impressive bounce-back from the opening loss to Spurs.
SMM: What are City’s biggest priorities this season? Premier League or European success?
Publicly, Pep Guardiola and the team are going to say they want to win every competition in which they are entered. But I think it would be difficult for them to prioritise anything other than Champions League.
It is the reason Guardiola was brought to the Etihad, it is the one trophy that has eluded the club.
SMM: With Sergio Aguero leaving in the summer, how have the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres taken to replacing him up top?
Sergio Aguero has certainly left a big hole at City. He was never going to be an easy player to replace, and I don’t think Jesus or Torres are the long-term answer at striker.
They are both still very young and you never can tell when a player may find a new level. Jesus looks to have found his true spot on the right wing, and Torres has shown flashes of finishing ability. But he hasn’t yet found consistency in his play.
SMM: Did Manchester City miss a trick by not signing Cristiano Ronaldo? (Sorry!)
First. I am personally glad they didn’t sign him. From a strictly football point-of-view, he would create a very different dressing room dynamic.
I think Pep truly believes that his combination of attacking players can score enough to win the league without Christiano. I do think he would like to have a more potent player up top for the Champions League though.
SMM: Finally, what is your prediction for the match?
City appear to be in top goal-scoring form, and have been very impressive at the Etihad this season. Pep’s boys will be looking to regain their defensive form in this one.
In the end, I feel like the teams will head to halftime level, but City will get two in the second to win 3-1.
We’d like to thank Thomas and Bitter and Blue for their time!