So, changes for City: Willy Caballero replaces the injured Joe Hart in goal, and Otamendi and Delph come in for Mangala and Jesus Navas. Fernandinho starts, as does Sergio Aguero, and David Silva, fit again after a nagging ankle injury, is on the bench.
Four changes for Southampton: Yoshida, Ward-Prowse, Romeu and Mané start. Shane Long is the main man in attack, and Dusan Tadic begins on the bench.
Man City: Caballero, Sagna, Otamendi, Demichelis, Kolarov, Delph, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Toure, Sterling, Aguero. Subs: Fernando, Bony, Jesus Navas, Silva, Clichy, Wright, Iheanacho.
Southampton: Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand, Wanyama, Romeu, Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Long. Subs: Kelvin Davis, Clasie, Tadic, Martina, Juanmi, Ramirez, Caulker.
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)
Hello and welcome
Are Man City the best team in the land? All things considered, the answer is probably yes: they have skill in spades, money in abundance, a squad as deep as the house music in a Kreuzberg nightclub, and the Premier League’s outstanding performer in David Silva. And yet there’s always the enchantment of surprise with Pellegrini’s side: they’re a team that can hit the heights one minute, play with rare skill and panache and score buckets of goals, and do something dopey the next, like lose 4-1 at home to Liverpool. Classy but capricious: probably what makes them so good to watch.
They take on Southampton at the Etihad today, and they need a win after a couple of iffy recent results. Saints are no mugs, though and fancy some European football next term, although is there any point in finishing seventh if you’re going to lose to FC Midtjylland in qualifying? Graziano Pellé is suspended for the visitors, but Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mané possess class, and Saints have already won at Stamford Bridge this season. They can do something today.
Kick off, as always, is 3pm GMT, 10pm EST. This should be good.
Tim will be here shortly. Meawhile, here’s Manuel Pellegrini on David Silva:
“David is a very important player, the same as Kun [Sergio Agüero],” Pellegrini said. “David has a different way of playing. But as I said one of the merits of the squad was to play so many games without so many players. I hope both of them can recover their great performance [of earlier this season].
“Of course it was not a good week for us. We lost against Liverpool, and against Juventus maybe we improve a little bit but it was not a result we wanted. But we were already qualified for the next stage and that is important. A lot of people were disappointed not to be at the top of the group but the group is one game more. Juve have to play well against Sevilla.
Related: Manchester City’s David Silva fit for Southampton after nine games out