Half time! The whistle goes at St Maryâ€™s and City limp into the break still clutching their 1-0 lead. Since I posted that Southampton had not had a shot of any sort they have had seven (two on target), and City none.
Over in Spain, Barcelona are hosting Valencia and they have just gone a goal down, Mouctar Diakhaby with it.
Southampton have absolutely savaged City since they went a goal down. Somehow they remain in arrears, with just a couple of minutes to go before the half-time whistle gives City a chance to regroup.
â€œShame to see Ben Foster having a bit of a nightmare from your previous post,â€ writes Paul Jaines. â€œHowever, I would heartily recommend anyone interested in the day to day of a pro-footballer to check out his YouTube channel, The Cycling GK. Seems like an all-round decent chap, and interesting to see the day-to-day like of a Pro-footballer (lots of waiting in hotels basically). Will be interested how he talks through todayâ€™s events!â€
I have seen several of his videos (here, if youâ€™re keen), and look forward to in-net GoPro footage of todayâ€™s calamities.
Danny Ings has been forced off, and Nathan Tella is on to replace him. Ings walks off, so itâ€™s nothing terribly serious, but thereâ€™s obviously a minor muscular issue bothering him.
Two more chances for Southampton against Manchester City, but Ingsâ€™ header deflects wide and Vestergaardâ€™s header from the resulting corner misses the target.
Watford are having one of those days. Ben Foster gifted Huddersfield their first, and Etienne Capoue has now scored their second! Itâ€™s a corner from the left, which goes straight to Capoue, who is on his own at the near post, but his attempt to volley clear sends the ball the wrong way, and past Foster! Itâ€™s Huddersfield 2-0 Watford now.
Bryan Mbeumo scores his second! This time he receives the ball on the edge of the area, takes a touch or two and then shoots left-footed, low, back across goal, and in at the far post. Itâ€™s Brentford 3-0 Reading now!
29 mins: Now Vestergaard heads a corner goalwards, but Ederson saves. Southampton have destroyed City for the last five minutes or so.
Surely Southampton should have a penalty! A ball from left to right is volleyed back across goal by Walcott, and though Ingsâ€™ header bounces wide heâ€™s absolutely flattened by Diaz after he heads it, but before the ball is off the pitch. The referee says no, as does VAR! I do not concur.
A second goal for Brentford at home to Reading, itâ€™s an absolute cracker, Bryan Mbeumo receiving the ball on the right, cutting infield, and curling across goal and in at the far post from 20 yards!
And another chance! Again this comes from the right, and a cross from Walker-Peters to Che Adams, just beyond the far post, who mishits his volley
Now Southampton have had a chance! The ball is played to the right wing, passed infield to Walcott, a foot inside the area, and his drive is pushed clear by Ederson!
Danny Ings tries to change that statistic, but he jinks onto his right foot only to shoot into the leg of the nearest defender.
GOAL! Southampton 0-1 Manchester City (Sterling, 16 mins)
City take the lead this time! The move starts with Ederson, who punts it downfield. A defender wins the header, but nods it straight to Kevin de Bruyne, which is a bit of a mistake. He exchanges passes with Bernardo Silva before crossing low to Sterling, who shoots in from 10 yards.
At Southampton, Manchester City have the ball in the net after a free-kick on the left, Rodri turning it in at the far post, but they also had three players offside, so it wonâ€™t count.
Talking of goalkeeping calamity, Brentfordâ€™s Mathias Jensen has just taken a shot that flew straight at Cabral, the Reading keeper, at chest height, and somehow went straight through him and bobbled in! Not literally straight through him, because that would be physically impossible, but from the footage Iâ€™ve seen I canâ€™t completely rule that out.
Watfordâ€™s Ben Foster has just giftwrapped a goal for Huddersfield, collecting Ben Wilmotâ€™s back-pass and then dwelling on the ball as heâ€™s closed down, eventually hitting it into an opponent, and it breaks to Fraizer Campbell who knocks into the empty net. That is absolute rubbish (or great, depending on allegiance).
Rangers are losing a game of football! Having suffered defeat in the League Cup on Wednesday, their first reverse of the campaign, they are currently 1-0 down at home to Motherwell, Callum Lang putting the visitors ahead in minute six.
5 mins: Southampton attack, but Ingsâ€™ pass forces Djenepo a little wide, and his shot is thus delayed, and weak, and deflected behind for a corner. â€œImagine last year anyone thinking that, on current form, City would be underdogs against Southampton,â€ writes Mary Waltz. â€œ2020 is the most bizarre year ever.â€
Swansea score the first goal of the afternoon, Jamal Lowe giving their a second-minute lead against Barnsley. They make light of the almost complete lack of grass on their pitch by not letting the ball touch the ground at all, sending a free-kick into the mixer from near half-way, and itâ€™s headed out, headed back in, headed on and finally volleyed in.
Peeeeeep! The clock strikes three and our games are on!
The players are gathering in the tunnel. Kick-off is a shade over three minutes away.
Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southamptonâ€™s victory over Manchester City last season was important in showing them that they had the quality to threaten big teams. Still, he would not expect his side to be where they currently are:
Iâ€™d have laughed I think. To keep it looking like this we must make a good game today, because itâ€™s a tough challenge for us. It was one part of the foundation, one part of the basement that we have built up over the lockdown. Courage. A different game with fans, and advantage for the home team. It definitely creates atmosphere, even if there are only a few thousand.
Pep Guardiola has a pre-match chat. Gabriel Jesus is, he says, out with concussion (I thought he said Jesus was suffering from â€œconcussion in the teethâ€, but surely I misheard). Heâ€™s then asked if his side are close to getting back to their best:
No. Weâ€™re not in a position to be at our best. There are many circumstances for one team. We are not playing well. We have created in most games more chances than the opponents but weâ€™re not winning games and when you donâ€™t win games you lose confidence.
There has been a last-minute postponement at Rotherham, where the match against Derby has been abandoned after a member of the Rotherham squad tested positive for Covid-19, and with â€œfurther players within the first team bubble showing symptoms of the virus at presentâ€.
There are a lot of very excited statisticians right now.
Crystal Palaceâ€™s punishment is over, and Liverpool have beaten them 7-0. Palace now have the worst goal difference outside the bottom four.
Southampton v Manchester City teams!
All the teams from all the 3pm kick-offs have been submitted, and these will be the line-ups at St Maryâ€™s:
Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo, Ings, Adams. Subs: Stephens, Long, Redmond, Armstrong, Salisu, Tella, Diallo, Nâ€™Lundulu, Forster.
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Joao Cancelo, Gundogan, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Torres. Subs: Ake, Aguero, Zinchenko, Mendy, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Carson, Foden, Nmecha.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Liverpool still have 20 minutes to add to their goal tally at Crystal Palace. They currently lead 5-0, and Rob Smyth is your man for that one:
Saturday afternoon brings a glut of games, albeit with just one 3pm kick-off in the Premier League and the leaders of both the top flight and the Championship playing at lunchtime. In the Championship Norwichâ€™s closest challengers, Bournemouth and Watford, are both playing away from home, at Luton and Huddersfield respectively, while fourth-placed Swansea host Barnsley and erstwhile leaders Reading travel to Brentford in a ding-dong 5th v 6th battle. Towards the bottom, Derby will haul themselves out of the bottom three if they outperform Nottingham Forest (who visit Millwall) or by winning at Rotherham, those three sides divided pre-match only by goal difference.
In League One, with several matches called off because of Covid cases Lincoln City (at Northampton, who are one point from the bottom four) and Doncaster (at bottom-of-the-table Burton Albion) are the only top-six sides in action. League Two sees second-placed Carlisle visit fourth-placed Forest Green in the game of the day while slightly further down the table two of the sides flirting with the play-off places – seventh-placed Colchester and Morecambe in eighth – play at the Colchester Community Stadium.
As for our one Premier League game, here are our predicted line-ups for Southampton v Manchester City:
Manchester City and Southampton both picked up disappointing draws in midweek, although Pep Guardiola should be the more concerned considering his side continue to struggle to score despite having ridiculously talented players in attack. Much may rely on whether Sergio AgÃ¼ero returns. The talisman has the power to dispel Cityâ€™s funk but if he continues his absence Ralph HasenhÃ¼ttl has a full-strength squad that has lost only once in their past 11. Saints may have a great chance of repeating last seasonâ€™s upset.
And here are todayâ€™s fixtures in the English Football League and Scottish Premiership (all kick-off times 3pm GMT unless stated):
Crystal Palace v. Liverpool (12.30)
Everton v. Arsenal (5.30)
Newcastle v. Fulham (8.00)
Southampton v. Man City
Birmingham v. Middlesbrough
Brentford v. Reading
Huddersfield v. Watford
Luton v. Bournemouth
Millwall v. Nottm Forest
Norwich v. Cardiff (12.30)
Rotherham v. Derby
Sheff Wed v. Coventry
Stoke v. Blackburn
Swansea v. Barnsley
Wycombe v. QPR
Accrington Stanley v. Blackpool
Burton Albion v. Doncaster
Fleetwood Town v. Wigan
Northampton v. Lincoln City
Plymouth v. Milton Keynes Dons
Rochdale v. Gillingham (1.00)
Swindon v. Charlton
Wimbledon v. Crewe
Barrow v. Cheltenham
Bolton v. Tranmere
Bradford v. Cambridge Utd
Colchester v. Morecambe
Forest Green v. Carlisle
Grimsby v. Scunthorpe
Harrogate Town v. Salford City
Leyton Orient v. Crawley Town
Mansfield v. Southend
Newport County v. Oldham
Walsall v. Port Vale
Hibernian v. Dundee Utd
Rangers v. Motherwell
Ross County v. Hamilton
St Mirren v. St Johnstone