MANCHESTER CITY desperately need to get back to winning ways and Adam Wallis (@SharpSignals) previews their trip to St Mary's on Sunday.
Southampton v Manchester City | Sunday 30th December 2018, 15:00
Manchester City have not been at their best over the Christmas period, two defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City see them fall to third in the Premier League, seven points behind leaders Liverpool. Southampton looked to have started a mini revival of their season but that ended at St Mary’s Stadium to West Ham.
The Saints had recorded some decent performances recently the most notable the 3-2 win over Arsenal, a 1-3 win over fellow strugglers Huddersfield and a 2-2 draw with Manchester United are other results to note. Looking at what Southampton have been creating in their matches, particularly at home, they have had a few unfair results.
A 1-2 loss to Leicester was a little undeserved as they created 0.10xG more than The Foxes, a 0-0 draw with Newcastle on another day would see Southampton win based on what they created. The same with a draw against Watford and, most recently the 1-2 loss to West Ham. In this match they created three very good chances making up most of their 2.36xG. West Ham however created 1.4xG but their best chance only rated 0.11.
Against top six opposition Southampton have lost 3-0 at Anfield, 0-3 to Chelsea, 6-1 to Manchester City and the above mentioned 2-2 draw with Untied and 3-2 win over Arsenal. They also lost 3-1 to Tottenham which they outshot their opponents by 0.81xG. This gives the Saints W1 D1 L4 out of the games creating 1.30 xGand 2.19xGA90 giving an xG_Diff of -0.89.
After recent results Manchester City cannot slip up here and Pep will have told them just that. Both of the losses to Palace and Leicester were unfortunate. Against Leicester, City created two chances 0.47xG and 0.24xG whereas Leicester created three chances recorded at 0.55, 0.22 and 0.35xG so it was pretty fine margins. After the winner was scored City created just two chances totalling 0.13xG in the remaining 14 minutes including injury time.
If we break down the loss to Palace the same way maybe a draw again would have been a fair result. Based on totals recorded, City 1.23xG and Palace 1.18xG. In Manchester City’s total there was a KDB goal that recorded just 0.07 and Gundogan 0.10xG. Their best chance was B.Silva’s 0.41xG.
Crystal Palace recorded 1.18 but 0.76xG of that was a penalty so they created just 0.42xG from open play. The best chance was not Townsends worldly from outside the area but a shot that recorded 0.21xG. Breaking the games and the expected goals down like this shows the two loses were in fact unlucky and maybe draws would have been better results.
So far this season City have played only Cardiff and West Ham away from the Etihad that are close to the calibre of Southampton though Hammers fans may disagree with me. They beat Cardiff 0-5 and West Ham 0-4 and I think the same is going to happen here. Manchester City are stronger in all areas and are still current Champions and comprehensively beat Southampton last time out.
Where Is the Money Going?
The natural Asian handicap line is set at 1.5 which is fair based on match odds prices and current expected goals figures. As with any match involving City the goal line is set at 3.0 which in my opinion is also fair. The champions have a 1.59xG supremacy over Southampton based on this seasons figures and I think that we will see that superiority to good effect with the handicap being covered.
Southampton v Manchester City – Manchester City -1.5 Asian Handicap (10/11 BetVictor)