Southampton v Man City: Saints to make City struggle

Paul Higham thinks Southampton will give Man City problems again but is backing Pep Guardiola's side to sneak through their FA Cup quarter-final...

Saints chasing another FA Cup semi

Southampton have a decent recent record in the FA Cup as they look for a third semi-final in five years, and they'll hope the competition can spark a change in form as they've lost their last three in the league.

In the FA Cup though they've only lost three of their last 18 ties, and are unbeaten in eight at St Mary's in the competition and they're definitely one of those "on their day" sides who possess enough quality to test anyone in a one-off game.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have drawn their last two games against Man City but overall since Pep Guardiola arrived Saints have won just one of 13 meetings - although that did come at home.

The hosts gave City a decent game in January and will hope the pressure from the Premier League title race hotting up will see Guardiola's side take their eyes off the ball slightly here.

City still on course for treble

Much has been made of Liverpool's trophy targets but Man City still top the Premier League table and are favourites to win the league, the Champions League and the FA Cup - and are just 11/1 to win all three.

Guardiola is taking charge of his fifth FA Cup quarter-final in six seasons, winning all the previous four with all of them coming away from home.

The joint-top FA Cup scorers this season have only failed to registered in two of their last 19 games in the competition, and have only failed to score once in their last 10 visits to St Mary's.

When coupled with seven clean sheets in their last nine games then there's not too much Guardiola will be worried about other than putting away the chances they'll no doubt create.

City so short to qualify again

It's just 1.1 that Man City make it to the semis again, 1.29 that they get the job done in 90 minutes, while Saints are 9.0 to win the match and 6.5 to qualify.

The draw after 90 minutes is a 5.5 chance but will take another stellar effort from the home side.

City had 74% possession and 20 shots in the 1-1 draw here in January, but just five of those shots hit the target and only one yielded a goal.

That's a similar situation to their draw at Crystal Palace on Monday and it's what Saints will be hoping for again.

It's clear that frustrating City, not giving them space or any free chances is the way to get at them, as Palace, Everton, Chelsea and Saints themselves have shown, while giving them space like Norwich and Man Utd can result in a hammering.

Spurs got a bit lucky in their 3-2 win Southampton's plan will be clear and as they did last time and even as Peterborough managed for an hour to keep City quiet then Saints can do the same.

Under 2.5 goals at 2.4 is worth backing as is the half-time draw at 2.7.

Sterling going for eight straight

Raheem Sterling is going for an eighth straight season of bagging an FA Cup goal if he can score here, as he's yet to notch in this season's competition.

He's 2.25 to score and only bigger in price than Riyad Mahrez, who is 2.1 having overshadowed Sterling this season with his glut of goals, including three in the FA Cup this season.

Phil Foden has taken a huge liking to the FA Cup having scored six and a registered a further four assists in just nine starts in the competition.

Foden is 2.63 for a goal and 3.75 for an assist.

Mohamed Elyounoussi has been in red-hot form for Saints in the FA Cup this season with four goals and two assists in just two games, with Armando Broja scoring three in five cup ties this season.

Nathan Redmond will be a danger on the break while James Ward-Prowse could be Southampton's greatest threat if he's got his shooting boots on.

Warde-Prowse is 15 to score from outside the box, which could include a trademark free kick, and 3.75 to have a shot on target from outside the area, which may be a more sensible play.

Saints will have to take all and any chances they get to try and spring the upset here.

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