Micah Richards is still sidelined with injury but otherwise, with the Touré brothers returning from the African Cup of Nations and Vincent Kompany having seemingly recovered quicker than expected, Roberto Mancini has a fully fit squad to select from. Th availability of Kolo Touré means that Kompany’s immediate return may not be risked, with the Ivorian likely to replace either Joleon Lescott or Matija Nastasic, as Mancini seeks to return a right-foot and left-foot centre-back partnership.
Further forward, Yaya Touré can expect to replace Javi Garcia and although it’s nice to have the Ivorian back, Blues fans shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves. Many seem to view Yaya as a god-like figure and the saviour for our season yet the stats show we actually earn more points on average with him in the side (2.27) than with him (2.06) and our results were better in the six games he missed than the previous six in which he featured.
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James Milner should keep his place in the side, meaning Samir Nasri will once again be named on the bench, whilst it is a battle between Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tévez to partner Sergio Aguero up front.
Here is the side Mancini could select:
Referee: Martin Atkinson – He has officiated two City matches in the Premier League this season, the most recent of which was the Manchester derby which we lost 3-2. He was consistent in that game, but consistently wrong. It was a really poor performance from Atkinson and it hoped he is better this time around.
Prediction: Southampton 1 – 2 MAN CITY – Despite not quite getting the results, the Saints have looked impressive under the guidance of their new manager, but our quality, especially if the game becomes open, should come to the fore. Goals to be scored by Rickie Lambert, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko.