Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has praised the job Ronald Koeman has done at Southampton, ahead of Sunday’s meeting between the teams.
City, who are third in the table, visit St Mary’s this weekend to take on eighth-placed Saints.
Ahead of the clash, Pellegrini explained his admiration for the job Koeman has done.
“Southampton is a team that in the last three years are doing very well – they have very good players,” he said. "They sold a lot of players this season and it’s a merit to Ronald Koeman that they are doing so well."
City’s visit to St Mary’s comes in between the two legs of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, with Pellegrini’s team having drawn 0-0 at Etihad Stadium in the opening fixture this week, ahead of next Wednesday’s trip to Spain.
“We have two different competitions – one is the Premier League where we want to be as near to the top of the table as we can and the other is to try and reach that final,” said the City boss.
“The best way to play on Wednesday is to play well and win on Sunday.
“I said before we knew we were going to play eight games in 30 days, which is a lot for this squad, so I’m making rotations in every game we play."
Pellegrini also revealed that he will be without David Silva and Yaya Touré for this weekend’s match, although Samir Nasri is available.
“David has a small hamstring injury so he will not be fit for this week,” said Pellegrini.
“He needs two or three weeks to recover. Yaya starts working today – we’ll see the way he improves through the weekend – we’ll see if he’s fit on Wednesday. He has some option.
“All of the other players are fit. Samir worked this week without a problem - he will be in the squad list for Sunday."