Owen Hargreaves believes the loss of the injured Fernandinho is an important factor in Manchester City's recent dip in form, ahead of their trip to Southampton on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola's side are 10 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool, following consecutive defeats by Crystal Palace and Leicester City.
The former Manchester United and City midfielder says the Brazilian’s defensive awareness has been missed as Pep Guardiola's side conceded five goals in those two matches.
"The opposition teams have scored against Man City with their first attack in the last two games," said Hargreaves.
"Palace did that, and Leicester did that, and the reason Fernandinho is in there, is in those moments when you’re a bit spread, he can suss that out.
"When you play three No 10s in there, which is virtually what Bernardo [Silva], Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and [Ilkay] Gundogan are … they don’t feel that moment.
"If you concede in those first attacks when you’re dominating, that’s where it’s nice to have the ‘sexy’ player in there, but you need that guy in there that feels that moment. And that’s what’s costing City at the moment."
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