With a spot in the quarter-final of this year’s EFL Cup up for grabs on Tuesday night, defending champions Manchester City will host a Southampton side that finds the mood in their camp the lowest it has been in recent memory.
Bagging three second-half goals to pick up a 3-0 win over a stubborn Aston Villa over the weekend, Pep Guardiola’s men have won their last three matches since returning from the international break and a shock defeat against Wolves.
While the Sky Blues might be enjoying their own battle at the top half of the Premier League standings, Southampton are coming off the back of their worst performance in the history of the South Coast club.
Suffering a humiliating 9-0 hammering at home against Leicester on Friday night, the Saints are enduring a five-match winless run in England’s top-flight, losing four of those contests.
You might be interested to know that with City picking up a 6-1 win the last time Southampton visited the Etihad, Tuesday’s hosts can be found at 5/4 with Bet365 to once again bag over 3.5 goals in midweek.
City’s free-scoring antics continue
Although Tuesday’s hosts might be chasing down a six-point deficit to Liverpool in the race to defend their Premier League title, Pep Guardiola’s men are still seen as a clear favourite to once again lift the EFL Cup next year.
Picking up a 3-0 win away at Championship high-flyers Preston last month, the Sky Blues can be found at 13/8 with Ladbrokes to lift back-to-back League Cup’s this season, ahead of Liverpool who sit at 5/1.
One man who is likely to maintain his place in midweek and should be relishing Southampton’s arrival is England international, Raheem Sterling.
Opening the scoring over the weekend, the reigning PFA Young Player of the Year has four goals in his last two appearances for the defending champions.
You might be interested to know that the 24-year-old can be found at 3/5 with Coral to extend on his recent purple patch on home soil.
Sadly for Guardiola, while City’s Spanish boss is likely to make a string of changes on Tuesday night, the former Barcelona icon has been hit with yet another injury headache.
With makeshift center-half Fernandinho picking up two bookings over the weekend, the Brazilian will be serving a one-match suspension in midweek and that is likely to see Nicolás Otamendi be recalled at the heart of City’s defence.
Booed off by what remained of the Saint Mary’s crowd on Friday night after suffering a humiliating 9-0 hammering against Leicester, the joint-worst score in Premier League history, Southampton find themselves in the midst of a major rut.
Freefalling into the relegation zone and without a win against top-flight opposition since the 14th of September, they have remarkably now shipped 16 goals in just their last four appearances.
With the pressure really starting to mount on the one-time RB Leipzig boss, Ralph Hasenhuttl now finds himself as a landslide favourite with the bookmakers to be the next manager hit with the boot.
The Saints manager is now priced as high as 6/5 with Paddy Power to be the next manager out the door, ahead of Everton boss Marco Silva who sits at 3/1.
Much like Tuesday’s hosts, Guardiola is not the only boss who will be unable to call upon one of his senior defensive options in midweek.
Sent off thanks to VAR on Friday, former Chelsea full-back and Saints skipper Ryan Bertrand will start his three-match suspension on Tuesday and will not make the trip to the Etihad.