Go on then, I’ve not done one of these here yet, and considering the odds against us, I can’t really jinx our chances anymore than they already are.
Not only have City improved a lot recently following something of a slump into inconsistency following the announcement of Guardiola’s pending arrival – a couple of consecutive 4-0 maulings they’ve dished out indicate that they’ve rallied, and their hunt for the automatic Champions League spaces has regained some steady momentum.
On top of this, we do not have a particularly good recent record against the Sky Blues.
Whilst overall, Won 30, Drawn 24, Lost 29 has us temporarily still marginally in the historical ascendancy – a City win at St. Mary’s will level things up.
We last beat them on February 9th 2013, 3-1 at St. Mary’s, Jason Puncheon and Steven Davis giving us an early two goal lead, with Edin Dzeko pulling one back before the break. A Gareth Barry own goal just after the restart sealing the points in our favour.
That win was followed up by a 1-1 draw, and now four consecutive losses.
Basically, we’re up against it.
However, we have already shown on a number of occasions this season – that this Saints side have some bottle and fight in them, and can indeed turn it on against the bigger sides, as results against Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool etc will testify.
I’d clearly expect Ronald to set us up more defensively than we have done recently, what with the proven quality we’ll be facing – but if that means the three at the back formation with Shlong and Jay-Rod up front, then we could well give their backline some problems of their own with that pace up top, against a defense that is not the most mobile.