Southampton play host to Man City in the Quarter Finals of the Carabao Cup. The new boss of Saints Nathan Jones has come under fire since taking over the job but did obtain a surprising FA Cup win 2-1 away to Crystal Palace at the weekend.
A place in the semi-finals is at stake but it won’t be easy facing the juggernaut of City, who won this competition 4 years in a row between 2017-21.
As per the usual routine, I’ve compiled a stats pack for this evening’s Carabao Cup contest, which should equip you with more than enough info to add some spice to your bet builder coupon. Take a look at my Stats Pack Guide for some more hints and tips on how to fine-tune your selections.
Southampton lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system vs Palace but there is a strong chance that Jones will move to his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation here with three at the back. Perraud and Walker-Peters should line up as the respective wide men.
Young attacking talent Sam Edozie looks set to play against his former club. New signing, Croatian winger Mislav Orsic should be available but might only feature from the bench.
You need to be Mystic Meg to predict the Man City XI each week and it’s even harder for cup games, such is the strength in depth that the Citizens have. Erling Braut Haaland was rested in the FA Cup vs Chelsea and will likely take a back seat again with Argentinian World Cup winner Julian Alvarez probably getting the nod upfront.
Talented young right back Rico Lewis, of whom Pep Guardiola is a huge fan, could slot in for this match as well. Backup keeper Stefan Ortega is the usual starter in cups, whilst Jack Grealish is expected to shake off an illness to return to the starting XI.
Southampton have underachieved compared to their xG and xGA metrics. They only average 0.83 goals per game, but it should be much higher at 1.25. They fire in 11.28 shots per match but only 3.33 of those have been on target, which is a major problem. At the other end of the field Southampton only concede 3.89 SOT against per match, which isn’t too bad. They do however concede over 12 shots overall in each fixture,
Corners have been in fairly high supply for Saints games. They average 4.33 themselves in each fixture, whilst their opponents have obtained 5.44. Cards have also flowed quite readily. Southampton themselves average 1.56 cards per game with 1.72 against. They are not known for being especially dirty but some of their games can become quite spicy and committed.
Man City are an absolute machine at both ends of the field. They average an impressive 2.65 goals for, and only 0.94 against. This is close to what their xG and xGA metrics would suggest, so this is a perfectly legitimate team. City average a massive 17.53 shots per 90 mins, of which exactly 5.82 have been on target. The opposition have only averaged 7.00 shots against City per game, with just a measly 2.35 SOT. This is the cornerstone of why they concede very few goals.
City average a mammoth 6.82 corners per game and only concede 2.18 at the other end. They are an extremely clean team, not known for going in the book very often and pick up an average of 1.06 cards per match. Their opponents average a high 2.35 cards in each fixture, partly due to the elusive nature of the City attackers and the way that they totally monopolise the ball.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Che Adams averages the most shots per 90 mins for Southampton (2.29) of which 0.88 have been on target. He is expected to start upfront so will probably have at least a couple of attempts here.
Both Sam Edozie and Adam Armstrong average over 1.50 shots per 90 mins with an accuracy ratio close to 50%. From midfield Joe Aribo could be one to watch due to his high SOT ratio 0.67 from 1.08 attempts. Aribo is known for hitting a sweet strike from time to time.
Anyone who starts for Man City in the attacking areas must be considered in the shots and SOT markets. Julian Alvarez may well get the nod again upfront here and fires in an average of 2.69 shots per game, with a decent 1.47 SOT.
Riyad Mahrez scored a brace vs Chelsea in the FA Cup and would be a contender to fire in a few attempts here, partly due to his set piece taking ability and the potential of him being on penalties. The City lineup is not easy to predict but Jack Grealish or Ilkay Gundogan can also both be considered for shots should they play.
Player Goals and Assists
Che Adams is the leading Southampton scorer with four goals. Set piece specialist James-Ward Prowse has netted three times and also weighed in with two assists. He scored vs Crystal Palace in the FA Cup at the weekend so should be confident here.
Left wing back Romain Perraud has two goals and two assists, but in general the scoring charts for Southampton are fairly bleak. Midfielder Joe Aribo has scored two goals in 18 appearances, but this is hardly a star mix of quality on show for the Saints.
Erling Braut Haaland is a million miles clear at the top of the City scoring charts but may well be rested to the bench in this fixture. His likely replacement Julian Alvarez bagged a goal from the penalty spot vs Chelsea in the FA Cup and has three goals from 13 apps.
That leaves Phil Foden second with seven goals, although he is another who’s place is in doubt. Kevin De Bruyne leads City in the assist charts with 9 from 17 appearances, whilst Bernardo Silva has five assists.
Southampton only average 44% possession, a figure that has typically been even lower under the management of Nathan Jones. They could only produce 38% possession in their most recent home game vs Nottingham Forest and just 34% vs Brighton, None of the Saints players on this list average more than 60 passes per 90 mins.
James Ward Prowse is one of their most involved players and takes every set piece so it’s not surprising to see him top of the list (59.60). Only Salisu and Caleta-Car also average over 50 passes per 90 mins, and they are unlikely to have much of the ball in this fixture.
Man City average 66% possession and will probably go over the 70% mark in this game. Their passing options look very appealing, depending on who starts. Nathan Ake averages 97.8 passes per 90 mins and will likely be heavily involved, possibly for the full 90 mins as well.
Midfielder Rodri averages 96.9 passes per 90 mins and should Kalvin Phillips replace him in the holding role, then the former Leeds man could be considered in the passing market. The glaring issue is whether he’s fit enough to last the full match. Both Akanji and Stones average over 80 passes per 90 mins and should also rack up the passing numbers if they are in the XI.
The Saints are quite average in terms of fouls committed and cards obtained. Centre back Salisu leads their charts with four cards, and he also averages 1.12 fouls per 90 mins. His clash with Julian Alvarez will be one of the keys to the match.
Left wing back Romain Perraud averages slightly higher for fouls (1.19) and picked up two cards. Winger Mohamed Elyounoussi was rested to the bench in the FA Cup, but should he feature here then he’s one to keep an eye on. The Norwegian international averages 1.59 fouls per 90 mins, by far the most for any Saints player and also has three cards. Both Lyanco and Lavia average over one foul per 90 mins and are also candidates in the disciplinary markets.
Should Jack Grealish start, then Southampton will have their hands full on the right hand side of defence. Grealish is one of the most fouled players in the Premier League in recent years and on average draws 3.29 fouls per 90 mins.
He has a high dribbling average which aids his cause in this way. Both Walker-Peters and Lyanco will have issues if he’s on the field. It will be same on the other wing where Riyad Mahrez has a high dribbling rate of 3.59 per 90 mins and can be very elusive.
Match-Ups to watch
Mohammed Salisu vs Julian Alvarez
Lyanco vs Jack Grealish
Romain Perraud vs Riyad Mahrez
man city Cards
City are an extremely clean team and only two of their players have more than one card. Portuguese right back Joao Cancelo has obtained four cards but is seemingly out of favour right now with Rico Lewis expected to start in his spot.
Rodri averages 1.75 fouls per 90 mins so if Kalvin Phillips replaces him as expected then Phillips is one to look at in the foul or even the card market. Centre back Akanji averages over one foul per 90 mins and is likely to commit an offence at some stage.
Sam Edozie averages a massive 6.84 dribbles per 90 mins and is fouled 2.89 times on average. He is probably the most difficult matchup for the Man City defenders with Ake or Rico Lewis most likely to be affected.
Upfront, Che Adams is usually fouled at least once per game and will probably end up in a tussle with Manuel Akanji. In midfield Romeo Lavia dribbles nearly two times per 90 mins. He is set to lock horns with Kalvin Phillips based on the projected XIs
Match-Ups to watch
Kalvin Phillips vs Romeo Lavia
Rico Lewis vs Sam Edozie
Manel Akanji vs Che Adams