22 January, 2022

AUTHOR: James Dowen

STAR PREVIEW Sat: Southampton v Manchester City

It may be the end of January, but the Premier League title is surely heading to Manchester City, which leaves those punting in their games from now until the end of the season with one question – where is the value?

Chelsea’s latest draw against Brighton leaves City 12 points clear at the top of the table, and it’s almost impossible to imagine them letting that lead slip due to any circumstances. City have now won each of their last eight matches in all competitions – and their last 12 in the Premier League – and it’s impossible to bet against them despite having the league in what feels like safekeeping.

Southampton are sitting in twelfth at the moment, with a 10-point gap between them and Norwich in eighteenth, spurred by a decent run of post-Christmas results. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side have won 3-2 at West Ham and 4-1 at home to Brentford while also holding Spurs to a draw at St Mary’s despite playing more than an hour with ten men.

All those results ought to give Southampton plenty of confidence for the year ahead, although they were brought back down to earth after a 3-1 defeat at Wolverhampton last time out when the hosts were in control and deservedly ran out comfortable winners.

Southampton v Man City
Premier League
17:30 Sky Sports Main Event HD / Sky Sports Premier League HD / Sky Sports Ultra

(Maximum 10 matches)
SEP 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 0-0 Southampton
MAR 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 5-2 Southampton
DEC 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 0-1 Manchester City
JUL 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 1-0 Manchester City
NOV 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-1 Southampton
OCT 2019 EFL CUP Manchester City 3-1 Southampton
DEC 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 1-3 Manchester City
NOV 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 6-1 Southampton
MAY 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 0-1 Manchester City
NOV 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-1 Southampton

City produced an accomplished performance to all but seal the title when beating Chelsea last week, with the visitors (themselves worn out due to injury and illness) failing to register a shot in the opening 45 minutes of a match for the first time since Thomas Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge.

Kevin De Bruyne capped off a fine display with a brilliant winner there – playing behind a front three of Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden – and whatever side City put out they should have enough to be comfortable winners here. Predicting the line-ups that Guardiola will put out is never going to be easy, but against Swindon Town in the FA Cup, he started Steffen, Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo, Reuben Dias, Rodrigo, Ilkay Gundogan (c), Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, and Gabriel Jesus – all this with a COVID outbreak.

Southampton’s games have involved plenty of goals – they’ve scored 25, which puts them in the top ten for goals scored, but they’ve also let in 33 – and that suggests chances for Manchester City here.

Kevin De Bruyne has scored nine goals in his last 14 Premier League starts and appears to be playing with real freedom of late. 6/4 for him to score anytime is tempting but the 5/1 on him scoring first is even more alluring. Joao Cancelo assisted De Buryne last week for his winner, which was Cancelo’s fifth of the Premier League season. 19/10 on him racking up another one might be value here.

BACK Kevin De Bruyne First Goalscorer 1pt at 5/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Joao Cancelo Anytime Assist 1pt at at 19/10 (Latest Star Price  ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

PROFIT/LOSS (JANUARY 2022): PROFIT 7.62 points
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