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Men's Team

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Fernandinho in; KDB out as Pep makes five changes

BACK IN BUSINESS: Fernandinho returns to the starting lineup for today's game at Southampton

BACK IN BUSINESS: Fernandinho returns to the starting lineup for today's game at Southampton

Fernandinho is back in the Manchester City starting lineup for the trip to Southampton after missing the last three matches through injury.

The Brazilian’s most recent appearance came in the 3-1 win over Everton and his return will bring additional strength and protection in front of the back four.

However, Kevin De Bruyne, who only recently returned to fitness after a six-week layoff, is out. David Silva, a substitute at the King Power Stadium, comes in for the Belgian. 

Fabian Delph is suspended after his red card in the defeat to Leicester and is replaced at left-back by Oleksandr ZinchenkoVincent Kompany makes his first start since the win at Watford at the beginning of December.

Long-term injury victims Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo remain on the sidelines.

City team

Starting XI: Ederson, Danilo, Kompany (c), Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Silva, Bernardo, Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero

Subs: Muric, Walker, Stones, Sane, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden

Tactics

City, as ever, will play a 4-3-3 formation. Danilo continues at right-back, with Kompany and Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the defence.

Fernandinho will anchor the midfield, while our two Silvas pull the strings just in front of him.

And up top, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling will provide width, with Sergio Aguero once again the man operating through the middle.

Southampton team

Stats and facts

City have won our last four Premier League fixtures against Southampton by an aggregate score of 12-2 but we have never won five in a row against Saints in the Premier League.

After a run of six consecutive clean sheets, City have conceded in eight of our last nine Premier League matches.

Southampton have won one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with City (D2 L8), winning 4-2 in this exact fixture in the 2015/16 campaign.

Sergio Aguero has scored four goals and assisted four more in his last eight Premier League games against Southampton.

City's Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances against Southampton (six goals, four assists).

Head-to-head

Southampton have won just one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Manchester City (D2, L8), a 4-2 success in May 2016 (when Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick).

City are looking to win five in a row against Saints in the Premier League for the first time.

Southampton

Southampton have dropped 15 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, the most of any top-flight side.

They have scored seven league goals in their four matches under Ralph Hasenhuttl, as many as in their previous 10 fixtures combined.

Saints have only won one of 10 league games this season against sides in the top half of the table, losing seven of those matches.

Victory over Arsenal on 16 December was their first in 30 Premier League games against sides from the current top six (D8, L21).

Manchester City

They could lose three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since February to March 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini.

Six of Pep Guardiola's 11 Premier League defeats have come in the month of December.

City's three recent losses have been characterised by their opponents scoring with the first shot they attempted.

Manchester City have gone nine matches in all competitions without a clean sheet.

They have not won their final Premier League match of a calendar year since 2013, failing to score in each of the last three years.

Club record scorer Sergio Agüero is two short of 250 career league goals. He has scored four goals and assisted four more in his last eight league games against Southampton.

Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 10 league matches against Southampton, scoring six and setting up four.

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