Yaya Toure admits he has a healthy respect for today’s opponents and believes Southampton are not far short of being a very good side.
The Saints pushed City hard earlier in the season, eventually losing 3-2 as two late goals from Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri secured the points for the Blues who had trailed 2-1 at one stage.
Now, Yaya is expecting another stern test from the Saints who have only lost twice in their last 10 Premier League games.
“I was watching Southampton when I was in Africa and they reminded me a little of Arsenal,” said Yaya who is set for his first City start since New Year’s Day.
“They are a good side and play really good football and have a good philosophy. It will be a tough game for us, especially as it is at their stadium but we are prepared and ready.
“Every team in the Premier League gives 100% and every game is very hard but we have to give that little bit more and work even harder to make our fans happy.
If the opposition give 100%, we must give 120% and that’s how it will be until the end of the season
With the Blues in action 24 hours before United, Yaya believes it is imperative City close the gap and keep the title fires burning.
“We are behind but we won’t let up or stop believing,” he said.
“If we continue to put pressure on United and openings will appear. I think if they know we won’t give up, they will begin to feel a little nervous and that’s when mistakes creep in.
We must remember we are only in early February and if we work hard, we believe we can still win back-to-back titles
“We have to meet each challenge as it comes because we want to win the Premier League and the FA Cup. “