Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Manchester United face difficult game at Southampton

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Sep 2015

Manchester United striker  Wayne Rooney looks set to return to the Red Devils starting line-up for their visit to Southampton

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney looks set to return to the Red Devils starting line-up for their visit to Southampton

Manchester United have been inconsistent this season. Last time out the Red Devils suffered a 2-1 defeat at PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.

The defeat was made worse by the horrendous injury picked-up by young England full-back Luke Shaw, which we all hope the youngster recovers from soon.

United now face a tricky trip to Southampton on Sunday afternoon and the clubs fans will be wondering what United team will turn up.

Two Halves

The defeat against PSV was poor, as was the first half display against Liverpool last time out in the Premier League. The second half performance against the Reds was much improved and the Red Devils got their reward with three goals in the second period.

In a way the win against Liverpool summed-up United’s season so far, it was a Jekyll and Hyde display from Van Gaal’s team.


There were definitely positives to take from that win, especially a superb solo goal from new signing Anthony Martial on his United debut. The French youngster gave a taste of what United fans can expect in the future and why the Red Devils paid such a big fee for the 19-year-old.

The youngster endured a slight quieter night against PSV on Tuesday night and did not make much of an impact on his second appearance for the club.


England captain Wayne Rooney has missed the last two games through a hamstring injury, but is likely to return up front for the Red Devils possibly in place of Martial, although he could start behind the youngster in the number ten role.

The 29-year-old has been out-of-form this season, and has not scored for United in the Premier League in the current league campaign. However, Rooney is a vital player for the Red Devils, both on and off-the-field.


This game could come at a good time for United, as the home side are struggling in front of goal. The Saints have failed to score in three of their five Premier League games so far this season. The Saints struggles in front of goal have led to Ronald Koeman’s side pick-up just one win so far this season.

Italian international striker Graziano Pelle has found the net twice this season in the Premier League, but has not hit the same level of form he did in the first half of last season. The likes of Sadio Mane, Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long, need to start to chip in with goals for the Saints.


Despite their struggles in front of goal, the Saints have now rediscovered their defensive solidarity in the last few games. The Saints have now kept three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League, after conceding five goals in their opening two league games.

Southampton lost the likes of Nathaniel Clyne and Toby Alderweireld in the summer, while first choice ‘keeper Fraser Forster is sidelined through a long-term knee injury.

The defensive changes were always likely to disrupt the Saints defence, but it looks like the team from the south coast now have a more settled backline. New signing Virgil van Dijk put in an impressive performance on his debut against West Brom in a goalless draw and the Dutchman looks like he could be another shrewd acquisition for the Saints.

Betting News

Manchester United head to the south coast as favourites to claim a victory in this one at odds of 29/20, the home side are odds of 11/5 and the draw is odds of 23/10. This game could go either way in truth, as neither team has been particularly consistent in recent games.


A win against the Saints is vital if United are to keep pace with their arch-rivals Manchester City at the top of the table. The Citizens have hit the ground running this season, so if United are to have any hope of challenging for the Premier League title this season then they need to put together a winning run sooner rather than later.

Can Manchester United pick-up a win on the south coast?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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