Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City (5/4 Premier League Outright) side will “need everyone together” if they are to continue their winning run at home to Southampton on Saturday.
After the disappointment of 1-0 defeats in both the Community Shield against Leicester and on the opening weekend at Tottenham, Guardiola’s men have bounced back with four straight wins in all competitions.
The most recent of those was a 6-3 victory over RB Leipzig in their Champions League opener on Wednesday (City 7/2 Champions League Outright).
Although now a seasoned squad when it comes to combining their European and domestic ambitions, Guardiola insists playing twice a week doesn’t get any easier.
Saturday sees the Citizens face a Southampton side who have drawn their last three in the league and pushed them close last term (Match Betting – Man City 1/7, Draw 8/1, Southampton 20/1).
City ran out the 5-2 winners on that occasion but the 50-year-old says the Saints “were the team that caused us the most problems last season”.
Guardiola believes Southampton counterpart Ralph Hasenhuttl will set his side up to cause many of the same problems exhibited by Leipzig.
The Austrian coach has even hinted that he may hand a first league start of the season to Nathan Tella in a bid to exploit the 22-year-old’s pace on the break.
After playing in midweek, fatigue could also be a factor for the hosts and the Etihad boss has warned his troops that they cannot underestimate their opposition.
“They played against Manchester United at home really well and deserved to win,” Guardiola said. “I know Ralph (Hasenhuttl). It will be a similar game to RB Leipzig. They move quick in the transitions, the team know what they have to do.
“When you play in the Champions League, it’s so demanding when they have a long week to prepare the game.
“That’s why we need everyone together, my players, supporters – to help us.”