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Guardiola looking to Manchester derby as key clash in top four race

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A City victory would be their 19th of the season, equalling their total number of Premier League wins in 2015-16 under Manuel Pellegrini.

Despite Kompany's struggles, Guardiola believes his captain can still play a crucial role over the final weeks of the season. "We simply did not play well enough against this team, nervous with the ball", the Frenchman told BBC's Match of the Day.

Vincent Kompany is undoubtedly one of the greatest defenders in recent Premier League history, but unfortunately for Manchester City, he's rarely been available when they've needed him over the past few seasons. Of course in that moment we came back from Barcelona, had played a lot of games in that period and we were exhausted.

Guardiola made it clear he wanted Kompany to remain at the Etihad Stadium, saying: "I think there is no doubt about that but the point is that when a guy has been two or three years injured, what can we do?" In the past two years he has had a lot of problems. "And that in Italy, in Spain, doesn't happen, that's why I'm so, so glad for the fans we have, because for the first time in my life I have experienced that".

The 2012 and 2014 champions are looking to lock down a return to the Champions League and Pep Guardiola's side moved a point ahead of Liverpool, which occupies the fourth qualification spot.

"It's a disappointment because we can do better, we can create better opportunities".

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"Look at Chelsea and Tottenham, and how few points they have dropped at home".

This time, he wasn't going to give Guardiola an excuse to drop him.

"If you want to become a stronger club and stronger team you can not drop points at home. That penalised us for the rest of the season".

Manchester City enter this game having just beaten Hull City 3-1 but they know that Southampton will be tough opponents.

Claude Puel on Guardiola: "He was a young trainer then, but his team was fantastic. I can not say how much it is valuable because if I was 20 years old I would not have done it that way but I am lucky to have good players surrounding me".

Manchester City have only lost one of their last 10 league matches, winning five and drawing four.

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