Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson thinks that Southampton could be in for another pasting when they face Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday.
The Saints were thrashed 9-0 by Leicester City last Friday and now face a huge challenge in the form of Pep Guardiola’s reigning league champions, who they have already played this week in the Carabao Cup, losing 3-1 thanks to a Sergio Aguero brace and rare Nicolas Otamendi goal.
Should Ralph Hasenhuttl be under pressure at Southampton?
City have already humiliated Watford this term, beating the Hornets 8-0 in September, with their quality needing no further explanation. The Saints are obviously huge underdogs heading into the tie, with their confidence at rock-bottom following last week’s drubbing, and Merson believes that they could be in for an extremely long afternoon at the Etihad.
Speaking on Sky Sports (via the Daily Echo), Merson said: “The last thing you want is Man City away twice in a week. Some people might say they’d rather that than playing against a lesser team, but not me.
“Southampton were that bad against Leicester, and I’m not being horrible, but if Man City get going, that record is in danger.
“How many times have you seen Man City play and after the game gone, ‘They could have won that 10-0’?
“They only have to have a game where they start finishing all their chances and Southampton are in trouble.”
Although Merson’s claims are perhaps a little over the top, the crux of what he is saying is understandable. The Saints only lost 3-1 against City midweek, but that was surely largely because Pep Guardiola fielded a much weaker side to the one likely to line up against them on Saturday.
Defensively Southampton are a complete shambles at the moment; they’ve got the worst defensive record in the Premier League having conceded 25 goals, while City have scored the most out of any side in the top-flight this term (32, via BBC Sport), so this will certainly be a huge challenge for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
10-0 looks unlikely, but after last week’s dismal showing, you never know…
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