EPL 2012-13: Manchester City vs Southampton Preview

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Manchester City vs Southampton Preview
Manchester, Aug 18: Premier League champions Manchester City begin their title defence against promoted side Southampton in their opening fixture of the new season at the Etihad Stadium.

EPL 2012-13 Special

EPL 2012-13 Fixtures

EPL 2012-13: Match Previews of Game Week 1

It is unlikely that the Saints can expect to steal any points against the Citizens due to their superior form at home. City are unbeaten in 29 Premier League games with 27 wins.

Manager Roberto Mancini can field a strong playing XI even though injuries hit striker Mario Balotelli midfielder Gareth Barry and Micah Richards. Goalkeeper Joe Hart is expected to return after suffering back problems while No. 2 Costel Pantilimon is set to make his debut.

Saints boss Nigel Adkins is likely to hand competitive debuts to new signings Nathaniel Clyne, Steven Davis and Jay Rodriguez.

Striker Rickie Lambert along with Jay Rodriguez are expected to start ahead of Billy Sharp while former Rangers midfielder Steven Davis and Morgan Schneiderlin will pull the strings in midfield. However, City are sure to dominate possession while Southampton have find luck on the fast break.

Trivia: In 16 Premier League meetings, Southampton have won eight while City have won only four. However, they last played each other in the Premier League five years ago.

Kick-Off 20:30 PM IST, 19 August, Etihad Stadium.

Probable Lineups:

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart-Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy-Y Toure, De Jong-Silva, Tevez, Nasri-Aguero.

Southampton (4-4-2): K Davis-Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox-Guly-Schneiderlin, S Davis, Lallana-Rodriguez, Lambert.

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