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Saints vs Man City - Preview

PUBLISHED

11:44 17th August 2012

It has been three years in the making, but the day Saints fans have been waiting for has almost arrived.

The Club kicks off its first Barclays Premier League campaign since 2004-05 this Sunday as we travel to reigning champions Manchester City.

This is an occasion that Saints fans have been dreaming of since the takeover masterminded by Nicola Cortese in July 2009.

At that point, the Club was about to begin their first third-tier campaign in 50 years, with the added headache of a ten-point deduction as a result of their spell in administration prior to the arrival of their new benefactors.

The progress made during the past three seasons now leaves the Club in a position where it can go head-to-head with the very best of the English game – starting this weekend.

Team News

First Team Manager Nigel Adkins takes his squad north with no injury concerns other than that over midfielder Jack Cork, who is a doubt after picking up an ankle knock in the draw at Bristol City ten days ago.

Danny Fox and Steven Davis have returned safely from their respective midweek international appearances with Scotland and Northern Ireland, so should be included in the squad that heads to the Etihad Stadium.

City have a concern over star striker Mario Balotelli, who missed Italy's midweek match due to conjunctivitis.

Gareth Barry and Micah Richards are ruled out with respective hernia and foot injuries, though Joe Hart should be fit to play despite a recent back problem.

New signing Jack Rodwell, who moved from Everton on a five-year deal last Sunday, should be included in Roberto Mancini's matchday squad.

Previous Meetings

It is five-and-a-half years since Saints last faced City, having travelled there for an FA Cup fourth-round tie in January 2007.

A Southampton side including current Club Captain Kelvin Davis went ahead against their top-flight opponents through Kenwyne Jones' 23rd-minute lob.

However, Darius Vassell quickly drew Stuart Pearce's men level before Joey Barton put them in front on the stroke of half time.

The Citizens added a third 20 minutes from time through DaMarcus Beasley to send George Burley's Saints out of the cup.

Our last win over City came in April 2004, when James Beattie's opener and a Kevin Phillips brace secured a 3-1 win at what was then called the City of Manchester Stadium.

Match Information

Sunday's match will be refereed by Howard Webb, who will be assisted by Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey. Mark Clattenburg is the fourth official.

Saints will line up in their predominantly-red home strip on Sunday, while the hosts will be don sky blue jerseys with white shorts.

Supporters who have yet to secure their seats for Sunday's trip to the Etihad have one last opportunity to do so, with tickets on sale at the stadium to away fans.

Our remaining seats on sale at the Etihad Stadium are situated in the lower tier and are priced as follows:

Adults – £49.00
Over 65 – £40.00
Under 16 – £27.00

Don’t forget that by attending this match you will earn 15 Saints loyalty points against your customer ID that will help gain priority on tickets for high demand fixtures throughout this season.

Online Coverage

Photos taken by fans making the trip to the Etihad Stadium will be featured in our Official Matchday Programme for the visit of Wigan Athletic on Saturday 25th August.

To send us your images, Tweet them with the hashtag #MarchingIn or email them to us at programme@saintsfc.co.uk.

Make sure you follow us on Twitter for behind-the-scenes coverage and in-game updates, and why not like us on Facebook as well?

Saints Player and saintsfc.co.uk will have plenty of pre-match coverage over the next 48 hours, plus lots more after the game on Sunday and Monday.

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