Southampton awaits City test

Southampton, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Southampton will experience its first major test of the Premier League season on Sunday when the club welcomes Manchester City to St. Mary's.

The Saints have exceeded expectations in the early going of the campaign following a massive exodus during the summer, rallying for a second-place position despite being tipped by many as relegation favorites.

But Southampton has yet to compete against any club inside the top four, making Sunday's clash a bit of a statement game for Ronald Koeman's men.

The club is unbeaten in its last five Premier League outings, but the hosts will face a City side that has been revived by a dramatic win in Champions League play on Tuesday.

The Citizens, who enter the weekend in third place in the English top flight, were sputtering in Europe until Sergio Aguero netted two late goals against Bayern Munich at the Etihad to keep their Champions League hopes alive with a 3-2 victory.

Aguero has become City's talisman as his 12 Premier League goals put him atop the scoring chart. The Argentine will hope to keep rolling at St. Mary's knowing that a win for City would put the reigning champions on 27 points through 13 games, one point better than Southampton.

Chelsea, however, continues to set the pace in the Premier League, entering the weekend on 32 points.

The Blues have yet to lose a match in league play this term, and it's a streak that figures to continue this weekend as they will travel to the Stadium of Light to face lowly Sunderland on Saturday.

Despite a myriad of injuries over the course of the season, Manchester United has managed to find itself in fourth place after grinding out a road victory at Arsenal last weekend.

The Reds Devils will return home to Old Trafford on Saturday to host a Hull City side that has lost three on the bounce.

Arsenal's two straight league losses have seemingly been erased with an inspired performance against Borussia Dortmund in Champions League action on Wednesday. The Gunners will hope to turn around their league campaign on Saturday with a positive result at West Bromwich Albion.

Liverpool has experienced a similar string of events in recent months, struggling massively in league play before claiming a vital Champions League victory midweek. The Reds will attempt to snap a three-game Premier League slide on Saturday when they play host to Stoke City at Anfield.

Rounding out Saturday's action, Leicester City will head to Loftus Road to face QPR, Crystal Palace will take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium and West Ham United will welcome surging Newcastle to Upton Park.

Sunday's final contest will see Europa League participants Everton and Tottenham square off at White Hart Lane.