|Southampton 1 v 3 Manchester City|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 30th December 2018 Kick-off 14:15
Saints V Manchester City The Preview
Sunday, 30th Dec 2018 10:01
They year ends as last season did with a home game against Manchester City, can Saints pull off an unlikely win.
Manchester City are in the middle of a slump by their own standards having lost three out of the last four in the Premier League, but is that good or bad news for Saints ?
Saints have revived drastically since the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl but the main problem that has not yet been solved is at the back where we still cannot defend to the standards required in this league.
The defensive permutations employed by Ralph have in the main worked to a degree, but the same old problems are still there we just lose concentration at key moments and we are not fast enough, to be blunt literally every goal we concede is still through individual error, we can't change that before the visit of City but something needs to be done in January.
So what can the Austrian do to stop Manchester City ?
The ray of light is that although City are the Premier League top scorers, they have scored over twice as many at home as away, on the road they have hit only 16 goals, by far the lowest in the top six, indeed we have hit 10 ourselves and at the end of the season it is going to be this that costs City dearly.
The key today will be how our defence performs, can they dig in whilst City attack us with pace and trickery and cut out the errors, if they can then we have a chance, but they have to up their game considerably otherwise we are going to have to try and outscore City and that could be disastrous.
On the plus side Saints have Pierre Emile Hojbjerg back after suspension and he will be a big plus in the midfield, but as I emphasise our problems are not in the midfield or even attack where we are scoring with regularity these days, Cardiff being our only blank since Newcastle 10 games ago.
My gut feeling is that anything we get out of this game and indeed Chelsea on Wednesday will be a real bonus, the real work begins with the five games starting with Leicester and ending with Cardiff, if we can come through this spell in good shape and with a key signing or two on board then we will know whether the last few months of the season will be as nervy as the last or the start of our rebuilding.
I am far more optimistic of us coming through that spell than I am of the next two games, I hope to be proved wrong.
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