Manchester City vs SouthamptonEnglish Premier League, KO: 15:00 Sep 18, 2021, Etihad Stadium
MANCHESTER CITY look back in the groove after a sluggish start to the season and fans will be expecting goals to flow again at the Etihad when Southampton come calling in the Premier League.
Last term was a gruelling one for Pep Guardiola's side as they chased an unprecedented Quadruple and it ended in anti-climax, with defeat in the Champions League Final meaning only two out of four trophies were collected.
And it says everything about the high standards Guardiola has set that finishing the season with two major trophies, including the Premier League title, was seen as a disappointment in some quarters.
City seem to be suffering a hangover as they followed up a loss to Leicester in the Community Shield with another 1-0 defeat at Tottenham in their league opener.
But they have responded superbly with four successive wins and their form at the Etihad has been particularly impressive. Sixteen goals have been scored across three games with Arsenal, Norwich and RB Leipzig, with that Champions League romp bringing up two of my midweek bets.
So it could be a long 90 minutes for Southampton if they conceded early in this game and Saints head into the game still seeking their first win of the new Premier League campaign.
It hasn't been a disastrous start for Ralph Hasenhuttl's men, with draws in three of their four games, and they also smashed eight goals past Newport in the League Cup.
However, Southampton need to start getting some wins on the board to move up the table, although it would be a massive surprise if the first of those victories came at the Etihad.
How the bookies view it
Southampton are rank outsiders at 20/1 with some firms and even the draw is as big as 43/5 with SBK. City's best price is a measly 1/6 with the same firm.
Recent head to head
Southampton claimed a shock 1-0 win over Guardiola's at St Mary's two seasons ago but that's as good as it has got in this fixture of late, with City winning nine of the last 10. It was a thriller when these sides met at the Etihad last term, with Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez both netting twice in a 5-2 victory (below).
Players to watch
I'd expect Guardiola (below) to make a few changes after the midweek win over Leipzig. Gabriel Jesus came off the bench to score and should start here, with the Brazilian 23/20 at BetVictor for anytime scorer.
Mohamed Elyounoussi has been brought back in from the cold at Southampton after two loan spells at Celtic. The Norwegian has made the most of his recall, with three goals so far this term, and is as big as 10/1 at Unibet to strike at the Etihad.
Anything else catch the eye?
RB Leipzig showed on Wednesday night that City's defence remains vulnerable and Southampton managed to score twice on their visit to the Etihad last season. So both teams to score might be a decent option at 23/18 with SBK.
First-half goals have been a feature of City's home games, with two strikes or more in all three matches, so it could pay to back some early fireworks. Over 1.5 first-half goals pays 11/10 at SportNation while the same firm offer evens on City winning both halves.
Southampton play with a lot of intensity so it could pay to back a few of their players for a card. Stopper Jan Bednarek doesn't take many prisoners and appeals at 4/1 with Unibet for a card.
This English Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton will be played on Sep 18, 2021 and kick off at 15:00. Check below for our tipsters best Manchester City vs Southampton prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.