Manchester United’s charge for the top four continues with a home game against Southampton on Monday. The Red Devils start as the clear favourites for the win, but can the Saints produce a second upset against Mancunian opponents in the space of a week?
Where and when: Old Trafford – 13 July, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Manchester United vs. Southampton: Sky Sports
Last time: Daniel James gave United an early lead at St Mary’s at the end of August, but Jannik Vestergaard pulled Southampton level just before the hour, with neither side able to find a winner late on.
Manchester United v Southampton Predictions and Preview
Although they haven’t beaten Manchester United in more than four years, Southampton have enjoyed plenty of success against the Red Devils in recent seasons. Four of the last six meetings between the clubs have ended all square, although United did beat the Saints 3-2 at Old Trafford last term.
Romelu Lukaku scored a fine match-winning brace in that game, but with the Belgian shipped out to Inter Milan, United’s forward line is functioning with a lot more unity and fluidity at present. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has transformed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack, which has also benefitted from the emergence of the exciting Mason Greenwood.
There’s plenty of optimism swirling around Old Trafford right now, with United’s 5-2 victory over Bournemouth last weekend taking them to 16 games unbeaten in all competitions. The likes of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial have shown the consistency they’ve usually lacked since returning from the break, and if the French duo can continue that here, United should pick up another key three points.
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Man United to win and BTTS
Man United to win 3-2
Greenwood to score first
Leicester City’s poor form since the restart has allowed United to bear down on the top four, although fifth could be enough to secure Champions League football next season. That depends on Manchester City’s European ban being upheld. Southampton beat City 1-0 last week, showing that even though they’re residing in the security of mid-table bliss, they haven’t downed tools for the season just yet.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has survived some tricky moments this season and is looking to end the campaign on a high, especially with such a short break before the new one. That victory over City took the Saints to a very respectable 43 points with five games remaining, and also to three wins out of four, ahead of their trip to Merseyside to play Everton on Thursday.
Even so, United look set to stretch their unbeaten run against Southampton to nine games by taking all three points. The Reds have been in the groove in recent weeks and are increasingly looking like an entertaining, cohesive unit after years of division and drab football. They are the 1/3 favourites for the win, while Southampton are 11/1 and the draw is 24/5.
One to watch for Manchester United: Mason Greenwood enjoyed a seminal performance with his brace against Bournemouth last weekend. The 18-year-old is deadly with either foot and took his tally for the season to 15 in all competitions against the Cherries. He is 17/4 to open the scoring on Monday.
One to watch for Southampton: Danny Ings has also enjoyed a stellar campaign, but as an established figure leading the line for the Saints in style. He’s aiming to reach 20 league goals for only the second time in his career and for the first time in the top flight. He is 9/1 to break the deadlock here.
Long shot: Manchester United shipped two goals in their last home game but they’ve been superb going forward since Fernandes arrived at the club. Last season’s corresponding fixture between these clubs ended 3-2 to United, with the same result here priced at 30/1. Those odds rise to 130/1 if you include Anthony Martial as the first scorer.