The EFL Cup has been Man City’s competition for quite some time, but last season they lost their crown, going out against West Ham United in the early stages. It was the first season since 2017 that Man City hadn’t won the EFL Cup, ending a four-year streak. But they have already ensured there will be a different name on the trophy this season, knocking holders Liverpool out at the fourth round.
It hasn’t been an easy run for Man City in the EFL Cup, or the FA Cup for that matter, with the draws seemingly against Pep Guardiola’s side. Entering in the third round, Man City were handed an all-Premier League tie against Chelsea (which was repeated in the FA Cup). But Man City did have too much for the Blues of London, winning 2-0 before beating Liverpool 3-2 in the last round.
Southampton, meanwhile, find themselves in a tough situation. Do they go for cup glory this season, also still in the FA Cup, or do they throw this game and focus on the league? Nathan Jones’ side are bottom of the Premier League, three points behind West Ham, and his only wins since replacing Ralph Hasenhuttl have come in cup competitions.
As one of the 13 Premier League teams not playing in European competition, Southampton entered the EFL Cup in the second round and beat League One side Cambridge United 3-0. They then needed penalties to beat Sheffield Wednesday, also of League One, before knocking out Lincoln City — you guessed it, of League One — in Jones’ first game in charge.
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Southampton vs Man City match stats
In their 4-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday, Man City were able to take their foot off the pedal in the second half, having scored three times in the opening 45 minutes. They have also scored 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of the first half in the Premier League this season, while Southampton have conceded nine during that same period.
With Guardiola and the attacking quality he has on his hands, you can never truly predict how Man City will line up. They rotated slightly for the FA Cup game on Sunday but with Manchester United coming up on Saturday, Guardiola may still opt to field a “weakened” side. Regardless, Riyad Mahrez will be hoping to continue his record this season of scoring in every domestic cup match he has played in, scoring four in three games.