Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prediction: Manchester United vs Southampton

Verdict: Manchester United win to nil

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League and reclaim their spot in the top four.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, despite much being made of their growing injury list, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his unbeaten Premier League run extended in midweek. Picking up a 3-1 win away at Crystal Palace, the Norweigan icon is yet to lose any of his 11 top-flight matches since taking over back in December. While their two-goal deficit to PSG might see it as almost impossible to book their spot in the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League, the Red Devils will be firmly believing they can secure a top four finish this season. Although former boss Jose Mourinho had previously written off their chances before his departure, Manchester United sit just a single point off climbing back into the Champions League positions. Solskjaer will also be growing more impressed by the Reds’ newfound resolve at Old Trafford. Unbeaten at home in any competition since the end of August, United have also scored two or more goals in six of their last seven matches in Manchester.

Team News

Manchester United have a considerable injury list with which to contend. Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all missed the trip to Crystal Palace in midweek and remain out.

Nemanja Matic, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial are also sidelined. Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia are long-term absentees. Marcus Rashford, though, may be fit enough to start after coming off the bench at Selhurst Park.

Southampton

As for the visitors, while Southampton might have managed to secure a 2-0 win over leading relegation contenders Fulham at St. Mary’s in midweek, Ralph Hasenhüttl will know his side are far from safe. Holding just a two-point buffer over falling back into the relegation zone, the former RB Leipzig boss will be calling for more consistency from his new sides. Picking up just one Premier League victory in their last five attempts, the Saints have drastically struggled against top six opposition. Saturday’s visitors have won just one of their last 33 top-flight matches against big-six opponents, losing 23 of those. Although Southampton have lost just one away matchup since the start of December, the Saints must improve on their recent record against United. Hasenhüttl’s men have failed to win any of their last five Premier League matches against this weekend’s hosts and more worrying, they have not scored a goal at Old Trafford since January 2016.

Team News

Danny Ings and Mario Lemina are doubtful for the Saints. Michael Obafemi will be sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester United are yet to be beaten in any of their Premier League matches since Solskjaer’s arrival.
  • Southampton have not scored a goal at Old Trafford since 2016.
  • The Reds have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches against Premier League opposition.
  • The Saints have recorded just one away clean sheet since November.
  • Southampton have also won just one of their last 33 top-flight matches against big-six opponents, losing 23 of those.

Conclusion

Picking up a very impressive victory at Selhurst Park in midweek and yet to be beaten domestically since Solskjaer’s arrival, United should be relishing Southampton’s arrival on Saturday. Given the Saints’ woeful record against the Premier League elite, coupled with now failing to record a goal at Old Trafford in over three years, we’re backing a comfortable afternoon for the Reds.

Verdict: Manchester United win to nil

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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