Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Southampton v Man City

Mark Lawrenson is tipping Manchester City to secure a 2-0 win over Southampton on Saturday

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola (Photo: The Sport Review)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester City to secure a 2-0 win against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

The Citizens will be looking to make a swift return to winning ways following a surprise 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Etihad on Tuesday night.

Manchester City lost further ground on their title rivals Liverpool FC after the defending Premier League champions were 2-1 winners against Tottenham Hotspur.

Pep Guardiola’s side are in ninth position in the Premier League table and eight points behind Liverpool FC, although the Citizens have played one game less than the Merseyside outfit.

Southampton are sitting in third position in the Premier League table and four points behind current leaders Liverpool FC after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

The Saints have won three of their last six Premier League games to hoist themselves into the top four.

Only Liverpool FC have a better home record than Southampton in the Premier League this season.

Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson is backing Manchester City to secure a 2-0 win against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

“Manchester City looked pedestrian at times in Tuesday’s draw with West Brom, which is very unlike them,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“There was no kind of zip to their attack, and it was too easy to stop them.

“Southampton also picked up a point in midweek, at Arsenal on Wednesday, and they might be a bit disappointed with that too, seeing as they took the lead and the Gunners played most of the second half with 10 men.

“Saints beat City the last time they came to St Mary’s, in July, and only Liverpool have a better home record than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this season.

“But I am still going with City to come out on top, if Sergio Aguero returns up front.

“I don’t know why Aguero has not been starting games recently if he has been fit enough to be on the bench, but he will end their scoring problems if he plays.

“I know he missed the Manchester derby because he wasn’t well but he only played the last 15 minutes or so against the Baggies.

“I get that Pep Guardiola might be thinking he needs to look after him, for the long term, but to me this is the time to chuck him in. They need him because Gabriel Jesus is a good player, but he is not Aguero.”

Southampton were 1-0 winners against Manchester City in this fixture last season when Che Adams scored the decisive goal at St Mary’s back in July.

Manchester City have only managed to win two of their six games on the road in the Premier League this season.

The Saints have beaten Sheffield United, West Brom, Everton and Newcastle United, while Southampton have lost to Manchester United and Tottenham at St Mary’s.

MORE: Latest Manchester City news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Ian Wright
‘He was the difference’: Ian Wright salutes Man United star after 3-2 win over Liverpool FC
Jose Mourinho
‘Congratulations’: Jose Mourinho sends message to Liverpool FC about record
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Mikel Arteta delivers Arsenal update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Paul Merson
‘I cannot believe it’: Paul Merson hits out at Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes: What I think about Liverpool FC’s recent form
Ian Wright
‘He was the difference’: Ian Wright salutes Man United star after 3-2 win over Liverpool FC
Jose Mourinho
‘Congratulations’: Jose Mourinho sends message to Liverpool FC about record
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Mikel Arteta delivers Arsenal update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Paul Merson
‘I cannot believe it’: Paul Merson hits out at Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes: What I think about Liverpool FC’s recent form
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature