AL: City could pay for failure

Manchester City's failure to beat Southampton would cost them the title, according to Saints captain Adam Lallana.

Last season Roberto Mancini's side incredibly overcame an eight-point gap on Manchester United in the final three weeks to secure a first title since 1968.

However, City look unlikely to repeat the feat this term as Manchester United already post a nine-point lead at the top.

Joe Hart has admitted defeat at St Mary's on Saturday would all but end their hopes of retaining the title - something Lallana has echoed in the build-up.

"Yeah [I agree]," the Saints skipper said. "I think if we beat them and United win, it would be a 12-point gap.

"I am not really looking at that end of the table as I'm concentrating on the other end at the minute.

"But if that is what Joe Hart says, he is an experienced character and player. As an England international, he knows his stuff."

Lallana linked up with Hart back in September when the Saints winger was called up to the England squad that faced Ukraine.

Frank Lampard scored in a 1-1 draw that night and Lallana is perplexed by his potential Chelsea exit.

"I'm the one that saying to anyone I speak to that I don't know why Chelsea haven't signed Lampard up," said Lallana, speaking as Southampton launched their new official timekeeper partnership with Eterna.

"He's got double figures again this season. He was only on about four goals a few weeks ago and then he came back form injury and is in double figures already.

"His finish for England against Brazil was just remarkable, typical Lampard.

"I hope he plays for England and Chelsea for as long as he can. The next two to three years at least.

"For young lads like me, he's a role model that you've got to look up to."

Lallana is in line for his first start since suffering a knee injury on December 8 and hopes to impress England boss Roy Hodgson once again.

"My main target is to keep Southampton in the Premier League but I would like to eventually be involved with England again," he added.

"In time, I definitely would like to get back into the fold at some point."