Manchester City will travel to St. Mary’s to face Southampton for their FA Cup quarter-final clash on Sunday.

Manchester City will resume their quest for a possible treble when they face Southampton in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The Cityzens are still active in three competitions: the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the FA Cup. They were knocked out of the EFL Cup by West Ham United on penalties.

As far as Pep Guardiola’s side’s FA Cup campaign is concerned, they started with a 4-1 third-round win over Swindon Town. The draw then pitted Manchester City against Fulham, whom they defeated 4-1 as well. In the fifth round, they got the better of Peterborough United by a 2-0 scoreline to book a quarter-final clash against Southampton.

The Premier League champions have lost just one of their last ten matches in all competitions and will want to add another win to their account when they line up against Southampton.

The Saints’ road to the quarter-final has not been as easy as their opponents. They needed extra time to get the better of Swansea City in the third round and then Coventry City in the fourth round. Southampton were, however, clinical against West Ham United in the fifth round, beating them 3-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are having a much better league season this term. Despite three consecutive losses, Southampton are tenth in the Premier League table. The FA Cup presents a great opportunity for them to win silverware this season or give their fans a trip to Wembley by qualifying for the semi-finals or even the final.

Team News & Tactics

Southampton

Ralph Hasenhuttl has been boosted by the returns of right-back Valentino Livramento and midfielder Nathan Tella. He will, however, be without goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and centre-back Lyanco for the Manchester City tie.

With a near full-strength squad at his disposal, the German tactician is expected to field a strong side for the FA Cup quarter-final. Fraser Forster is likely to continue between the sticks, although there is a slight chance that Hasenhuttl uses former Manchester City shot-stopper Willy Caballero instead.

The back four could consist of right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, centre-backs Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek, and left-back Romain Perraud. Stuart Armstrong is expected to continue out wide on the right flank, with Mohamed Elyounoussi starting on the left.

The central midfield pairing of James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu will provide the team with some much-needed control in the middle of the park. Che Adams and Shane Long are expected to lead the line in a 4-4-2 that Hassenhuttl likes to field.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Forster; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Perraud; Stuart Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Elyounoussi; Adams, Long

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Manchester City

Pep Guardiola will field a strong side to keep Manchester City’s treble hopes alive. The Cityzens are next scheduled to take the field on April 2, which makes it even easier for the Spaniard to go in with a full-strength squad in the FA Cup.

Ederson Moraes will keep his spot between the sticks, with Kyle Walker fielded as the right-back. The central defensive pairing of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte will also hold on to their places in the continued absence of Ruben Dias. Joao Cancelo is expected to take the left-back role, a position he has been used in frequently by Guardiola this season.

Guardiola could go in with a midfield three of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva, who can all be highly influential from the centre of the park. Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling will lead the attacking line in a 4-3-3 formation.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

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Key Stats

  • Manchester City and Southampton have faced off 97 times in their history. City lead the head-to-head 38-32, while 27 matches have finished as draws.
  • Manchester City and Southampton have drawn both their matches in the Premier League this season.
  • Southampton have defeated Manchester City just once across all competitions since May 2016.
  • Southampton have won the FA Cup just once, in 1976. Manchester City, on the other hand, have won it six times.
  • No team has scored more FA Cup goals than Manchester City this season (10, level with Chelsea and Barrow). City have only failed to score in two of their last 19 games in the competition (netting 58 goals in total). Both games were semi-final defeats in the last two seasons.

Player To Watch

Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez has scored 21 goals across competitions this season. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Mahrez has scored 21 goals across competitions this season. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Riyad Mahrez has been in scintillating form this season, and is Manchester City’s top-scorer with 21 goals across competitions. Three of those goals have come in the FA Cup and Mahrez would want to add to that. Expect the Algerian international to play a decisive role again as Manchester City continue their quest for a treble this season.

Prediction

Southampton 1-2 Manchester City

Sunday’s clash could turn out to be a cup classic. But with Manchester City playing out back-to-back goalless draws in their last two encounters, they will come out all guns blazing against Southampton. Even though the Saints can score a goal or two, expect the Cityzens to come out on top eventually. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Pep Guardiola’s men.

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