James Milner believes the fact Southampton are in a comfortable mid-table position makes them dangerous opponents.
The Saints arrive at the Etihad Stadium having won three of their last four matches and, Milner has warned Mauricio Pochettino’s side are playing without fear as the season draws to a close.
“They’ve have had a good season and we know they are a good side from previous meetings,” said Milner.
“When we played at their place earlier in the season we didn’t play that well but came away with a draw, which in hindsight was a decent result.
“They are playing with freedom at the moment and because of their position in the table, there isn’t really any pressure on them.”
Milner knows several of the Saints’ team well due to his England connections. Jay Rodriguez, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Ricky Lambert have all played for their country and have all made a major contribution for their club this season.
“They have a good squad with some great English talent who are all looking to book a place in the World Cup squad so they have plenty to play for,” he said.
“It isn’t going to be an easy game and the fact they’ve only been in the Premier League for a short space of time shows how far the club have come and that’s credit to the management and the players.
"We know what we need to do in the games that remain and while everyone is looking ahead to our game against Liverpool, the fact is we have a lot of hard games still to come, including this one.
”It’s an old cliché but we really do need to take each game as it comes. We don’t feel any pressure because we have two games in hand, both of which are at home.
“There are games left for all the leading clubs that look very winnable, but the pressure will tell and I think there will be plenty of twists along the way as Crystal Palace proved last weekend. We’ve been there before and done it so we know what to expect.”