Premier League: Manchester United vs Southampton preview


Manchester United are desperate to get back to winning ways when they host Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Red Devils won the reverse fixture 1-0 in September, Romelu Lukaku scored the winning goal. Last season Man United beat the Saints 2-0 at Old Trafford but got held to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture, while in the League Cup final the Red Devils won 3-2 thanks to a double from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Four of the last five direct meetings had less than two goals scored in them.

Manchester United are in a slight crisis at the moment, it started with the stunning 2-1 League Cup defeat to Championship side Bristol City and continued with consecutive 2-2 draws in the Premier League against Leicester and Burnley. Manchester City kept on winning, so the league leaders are now 15 points ahead, while Chelsea closed the gap to second-placed Man United to just one point. Marcos Rojo is suspended for this match after having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season (he played just five Premier League matches!), while Michael Carrick, Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling are injured.

Southampton have been struggling all season, they have won just four of their twenty Premier League matches so far and they have lost three of their last four games. On Boxing Day they got hammered 5-2 at Tottenham but they are still two points above the relegation zone. They have won just one of their nine away matches so far this season and lost five times, but they recorded narrow defeats at big teams, 1-0 at Chelsea and 2-1 at Manchester City. Charlie Austin, Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand are injured and won't be able to play on Saturday.

Probable line-ups:

Man United: De Gea - Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw - Matic, Pogba - Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Rashford - Ibrahimovic

Southampton: Forster - Pied, Yoshida, Hoedt, Targett - Romeu, Lemina - Boufal, Davis, Tadic - Gabbiadini

My prediction: Manchester United to win 1-0.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Man United win - 1.36
Draw - 4.75
Southampton win - 8.00

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