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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl could celebrate at Villa Park
Free football tips, best bets and analysis for Southampton v Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-final
where to watch
BBC One, 3 p.m. Sunday
Southampton win both halves
1point 10-3 Hills
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and defender Lyanco are not running.
Ruben Dias is back in training.
Southampton, one of only three sides to have faced Manchester City twice in the Premier League this season and not lose, can challenge their own indifferent form and make life difficult for Pep Guardiola’s treble fighters again.
Just days after Crystal Palace became the third team to complete the double ‘without losing’ against City – Tottenham are the other – the Saints secure a third tilt against the FA Cup champions, and certainly have reason to be optimistic.
They were unlucky enough to draw 0-0 at the Etihad in September when City had Kyle Walker sent off for conceding a penalty, only for VAR to overturn both appeals. Just as good as the result for the Saints was the fact that City only managed one shot on target.
City were a different beast at St Mary’s in January, hitting the woodwork twice in a 1-1 draw where the odds definitely rested with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
But as unfair as the result is in the eyes of City fans, the fact is that Southampton have avoided defeat to City for the third time in their last five meetings and have a style of play that can confuse Guardiola.
Southampton’s other reason for optimism is the fact that City are going through a calmer period where results are generally decent but performance is not stellar.
And given all that, City make no obvious call at 1-3 after a pair of 0-0 draws.
The flip side, of course, is that Southampton suddenly hit the buffers after their post-Christmas surge, although it’s possible that with mid-table safety all eyes were on that tie .
Their last win was a well-deserved 3-1 triumph over a very strong West Ham side in the fifth round, a seventh game in a row they hadn’t lost, a run that included the draw with City plus another at Manchester United and a magnificent 3-2 triumph at Tottenham.
Since hampering the Hammers, however, they have been badly beaten by Aston Villa, Newcastle and Watford, games in which even their most pessimistic supporters would have expected six or seven points, but yielded precisely none. .
When the Saints are successful – and even amid the recent wreckage there have been flashes – they are a threat, not least because of James Ward-Prowse’s set-piece deliveries, but also Stuart’s run Armstrong and especially Armando Broja, who is a future star.
It’s 9-1 shots, which is understandable considering there are 35 points between these two in the table.
But the Saints will have their moments and since City have failed to score in either of their last two matches, it is suggested the hosts win a half at 10-3. They have won either half in three of their last six meetings with City and in 20 matches in all competitions this season.
Southampton have won either half in five of their six cup matches this season
Penalty taker James Ward-Prowse
Free kick assistant James Ward-Prowse
Aerial threat on set piece Jean Bednarek
card magnet Oriol-Romeu
Penalty taker Riyadh Mahrez
Free kick assistant Riyad Mahrez
Aerial threat on set piece John Stones
card magnet Fernandinho
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 2:30 PM, MARCH 19, 2022