Manchester City vs. Southampton Betting Preview: Expect This Defense to Dominate (October 8)

Manchester City vs. Southampton Betting Preview: Expect This Defense to Dominate (October 8) article feature image

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and Mohamed Elyounoussi of Southampton

  • Manchester City and will go head-to-head with Southampton at the Etihad Saturday morning.
  • The Cityzens are hot entering the matchup and riding a stout defense.
  • Brad Cunningham breaks down how to bet this match below.

Man City vs. Southampton Odds

Man City Odds-900
Southampton Odds+1600
Over/Under3.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock
Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Manchester City looks to stay in red-hot form when they host Southampton at the Etihad.

The Cityzens could not be hotter coming out of the international break. Manchester City put six past their inner-city rivals on Sunday in the Manchester Derby and followed that up with a rout of Copenhagen in the Champions League, 5-0. They still are one point behind Arsenal in the table, so City will take over first place with a win before the Arsenal/Liverpool match on Sunday.

Southampton are once again sitting in the bottom half of the table, only three points above the relegation zone. With that being said they drew Manchester City twice last season, which is something not a lot of teams in the bottom half of the table are able to pull off. Can they repeat that success on Saturday?

Dominant D from Man City

Yes, Erling Haaland is going ballistic right now, but I want to talk more about the Manchester City defense. The Cityzens have allowed just 4.9 expected goals in eight matches, and if you remove penalties, only one team has created more than one expected goal against them in all competitions, which was Newcastle.

Manchester City are also holding 70.7% possession on average and averaging close to 500 touches per 90 minutes in the middle third of the pitch. Now, the reason for that is that they’ve played a lot of teams that set up in very compact low blocks, which is not something Southampton is going to do. 

In five matches against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, and Wolves, Manchester City have allowed a total of 1.5 xG, 22 shots, and 44 touches in their penalty area. Manchester City have two styles of play now: one in which they have to break down a low block, and one in which they are playing a more open, pressing team.

Both ways have resulted in their defense being incredible rock solid, and they're able to hold even more possession than they were last season. So, I am not sure how Southampton is going to trouble the City defense. 

Scoring Threats Minimal with Southampton

Southampton have looked better offensively than last year, and they just created more than two expected goals against Everton, but let’s not kid ourselves: They’re still averaging 1.05 npxG per 90 minutes, they’ve created only seven big scoring chances in eight matches, and they have created only 6.3 xG from open play.

The problem is Southampton doesn’t have a consistent goals scoring threat, nobody on the team has scored more than two goals, Che Adams and Adam Armstrong are both averaging under 0.30 xG per 90 minutes, and maybe the most concerning thing for this match is they are the worst team in the Premier League at playing through pressure, as they are dead last in Offensive PPDA. 

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Betting Analysis & Pick

If Southampton are barely averaging more than one expected goal per 90 minutes, doesn't have true goal-scoring threats, and can't play through pressure against the best counter-pressing team in the Premier League, I am not sure how they are going to create anything of value against Manchester City's defense.

For whatever reason, Manchester City scored only once in the two meetings against Southampton last season and created a total of only 2.7 xG, so maybe Ralph Hasenhuttl can keep City quiet once again.

I have the Both Teams to Score- No line projected at -225, so I love the value on the current line of -108, which is available at FanDuel.

The Pick: Both Teams to Score-No (-108) 

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