How Man City should line up vs Southampton in Carabao Cup fixture – Simon Bajkowski

City relinquished their grip on the trophy last season but have already defeated Chelsea and Liverpool in this year&aposs tournament. Next up is the struggling Saints who currently sit bottom of the Premier League but did pick up their first victory under new manager Nathan Jones in the FA Cup over the weekend.

The Blues have a quick turnaround from the trip down south to the massive Manchester derby, which kicks off at 12:30pm on Saturday, so that may come into consideration as Pep Guardiola picks his team. Kalvin Phillips could come in for his first start for the club while Jack Grealish may be a doubt after missing Friday&aposs win over Chelsea altogether. Ruben Dias remains sidelined.

Here&aposs how MEN Sport writers believe City should line-up for the match and you can select your own starting XI with the widget below.

Kalvin Phillips deserves the chance to earn his first City start and it is not a game that Guardiola will intend to throw away.

Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland did not feature at the weekend and ideally they will start at Southampton and then come off; the presence of Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva on the bench should mean that they shouldn&apost have to over-exert themselves.

Riyad Mahrez started against Chelsea so Jack Grealish is due a start, and Phil Foden deserves the chance to build on his recent performance.

Rico Lewis has played in the early rounds of the Carabao Cup and he can ensure that Kyle Walker is fully fit for the derby at the weekend. The centre-back pairings very much depend on who Guardiola wants at the weekend but I&aposd pick Akanji and Laporte for this one with the intention of partnering Stones with Ake at the weekend.

Kalvin Phillips hasn&apost even got a full 90 minutes on the clock at City yet so he needs to more than double his total playing time for the club on the south coast and finally show what he can offer. I&aposd bring Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan back into the middle as well to keep the midfield fresh.

Joao Cancelo is also in need of a start and a good display after his struggles following the World Cup and it&aposd be great to see Rico Lewis get more time to impress. I&aposd continue to save Erling Haaland for the derby, with the option to bring him on there if things go awry, and give Julian Alvarez another chance from the off alongside Phil Foden and the in-form Riyad Mahrez.

City&aposs team to face Southampton is difficult to predict after Guardiola kept his cards close to his chest in Tuesday afternoon&aposs press conference. John Stones and Nathan Ake could need more minutes ahead of the Manchester derby this weekend so it is possible we will see them return at the heart of the defence.

Joao Cancelo is currently out of favour and his booking against Chelsea will not have done him any favours as he attempts to get back into Guardiola&aposs good books. Phillips surely needs to start with Rodri in desperate need of a rest and you would assume that De Bruyne and Gundogan will be ahead of him.

Haaland looks to have been rested at the weekend with the quarter-final in mind so his start appears to be secure. Mahrez is in ripe form and feels impossible to drop at this stage.

Alvarez and Grealish will battle it out for the last spot in the front three and I am leaning towards the Argentine to squeeze his way into the starting XI. Southampton is as good of an opponent as any to test a line-up with both the Norwegian and Argentinian talisman included.

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