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Southampton 0 v 0 Burnley
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 13:30
Saints V Manchester City The Preview
Saturday, 12th May 2018 13:00

It's not over till it's over, although Swansea need an unlikely 10 goal turnaround, Saints fans will sweat till the final whistle.

Under normal circumstances you would hope that Manchester City would not be too bothered about this game having already won the Premier League by a record number of points, but given that a win would make them the first team in Premier League history to achieve 100 points, it's fair to say that they will not be looking to do anything other than beat us.

So our job is to try and keep them at bay and hope to be able to go at them on the break, the most important thing though is not to collapse and give Swansea a glimmer of hope.

That makes it tricky for Mark Hughes, in normal circumstances it would be difficult to decide on a strategy, do you try and attack them and hope for the best or do you sit back and invite them on.

The answer is that against City the decision is often made for you, they push you back and pass pass pass, but that could be to Saints advantage, City often over elaborate and prefer one more pass rather than taking a shot, they have the confidence that they can score but to do so they want a clear chance rather than speculative attempts.

On the plus side we played well in the game up at the Etihad, we were only beaten by a late injury time winner from distance, ironically just the type of attempt they leave only for a last desperate try.

Mark Hughes has found a good formula, he has reintroduced confidence to his team h has got them playing as he wants them and with determination and passion, they won't lie down and die.

I think Hughes team won't differ much from the last game, the only questions will be whether Bednarek plays and if he does whether Stephens makes way for Yoshida, will Lemina be fit and up front does Hughes opt to start with Austin and leave Long on the bench for fresh legs in the final third, or does he opt for the Irishman's workrate early on to ensure that we push City back from the start, certainly from this viewpoint, if we are to lose it will be better to do so late in the game than concede early goals that give Swansea hope.

Finally it needs the supporters to keep the team going, at St Mary's against Bournemouth the crowd was magnificent and at Everton and Bournemouth the travelling Saints fans were as good as any away game in the Premier League since our return in 2012.

So we all need to be up for it and I am sure we will be, it is a time for unity and as the team showed against Bournemouth when the fans get behind them they respond.

Let's march on right till the final whistle !

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SaintBrock added 21:43 - May 12
The problem for us is that we cannot score goals, if we play on the front foot and try to exploit their defensive weaknesses there will be only a low chance that we will convert such attacks into goals but a very high chance that then we will be caught forward by quick balls down the channels for the likes of Sterling to cause havoc in our back line with 4 agains 3. Too many tap-ins.

For that reason despite his claims of going for it etc one suspects we will line up with defence in mind for the afternoon and the hope that we can hold out for 90 mins with a few quick raids into their territory in the hope of finding a flukey winner. That'll be just fine if we are breached only a couple of times and one guesses that what Hughes will have in mind. Nothing very adventurous just solid turgid football aimed more at neutralising their freedom of the park than winning a football match.

On the brighter side, one doubts Swanseas know how to score more than one goal and Stoke will likely want to go out with a bang especially those looking for a new employer for next season. 2-1 to Stoke seems about right to me and 2-0 to ManC would be about the best we could hope for.

SanMarco added 21:49 - May 12
I'd like to see Gabbi up front. There is no reason why we should be hammered in this. A fairly narrow defeat would not be a disgrace - and we might score 1 or 2. As City want 3 goals and 3 points I woul say 1-3 or 2-3 or even 2-2 if we have a good day. I a still getting used to the fact that we are staying up!!!

BoondockSaint added 00:24 - May 13
I'm worried Stoke players will want to do the dirty to Hughes. It's not like players have never gone through the motions pretending to give an enough only to "accidentally" let the other team score to punish a manager or a team (See Leicester/Ranieri, Terry & Lampard/fill-in-blank, VVD/Saints). OK, so maybe I'm being a bit paranoid, (and I haven't even seen the bats yet!) but being a Saints supporter will do this to you....

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