Manchester United will return to Old Trafford against Southampton on Tuesday evening. The Red Devils come into this game off the back of a 0-0 draw to Arsenal at the weekend. We have only picked up one point in the last two games, whilst our opponents have tasted defeat in their last three games.
United enters the game still second within the league table after Leicester City’s 3-1 defeat against Leeds. This is despite us dropping points at the Emirates. We had been hoping for a better response against Arsenal having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against Sheffield United last Wednesday. We created better chances than the opposition with Marcus Rashford and Bruno having opportunities but were unable to convert it. Edinson Cavani missed a couple of big chances that could have nicked all three points for us. The draw left us three points behind our rivals Manchester City, who have a game in hand over us.
We have not been convincing in the games against the top six clubs and have not scored an open goal against them this season. To put everything into perspective, the 41 points from 21 games has been an excellent return for United so far. Whilst the setbacks against Sheffield United and Arsenal have dampened the talk of the title, we still very much remain in the race.
United has conceded 27 goals this season, which amongst the other Premier League clubs is one of the poorer records. Our home record has not been at its best as we only secured 14 points in the 10 league games played at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils faced two tough fixtures in the league against Southampton and Everton before taking on West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round. United will have some advantage in that all of these fixtures are being played on home soil. We also have the Europa League to contend with as we faced Real Sociedad in the last 32 this month.
Southampton come into this fixture having tasted a 1-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa through a Ross Barkley goal. The Saints have not won a league game since overcoming Liverpool at the start of the new year. They have lost the last three games against Leicester, Arsenal and Villa.
This run of form has seen Southampton drop down to 11th in the league table as they arrive at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. When the teams met last time in November, United ran out 3-2 winners with Edinson Cavani getting the winning goal. The Saints have not beaten United in the league since January 2016.
They have won three times away from home this season and only had two defeats. So they will be looking to take advantage of United’s recent setbacks especially at Old Trafford.
Manchester United vs Southampton Match Details
Teams: Manchester United vs Southampton
Date: February 2nd, 2020 (Tuesday)
KO Time: 20:15 GMT
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Mike Dean
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Ralph Hasenhüttl
Manchester United Team News
On the injury front, United have Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo currently out. Rojo might have left the club by the time this fixture comes around as United are expected to terminate his contract by mutual consent.
Scott McTominay had been a doubt for the Southampton game after coming off in the first half against Arsenal due to stomach cramps. He is expected to be fine. Eric Bailly could come back into the centre of the defence replacing Victor Lindelof, who has been nursing a back injury all season. Martial could be recalled to the starting eleven ahead of Cavani.
Manchester United vs Southampton Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about our opponents Southampton and their current form. He said, “I expect a similar team that we played against. It’s a strong XI – I know they have a lot of injuries, that’s to be expected over the course of the season with the football they play: high intensity, direct, loads of energy. They’ve just hit a moment with loads of injuries.“
A member of the media asked Ole how he feels in regards to the two disappointing results against Sheffield United and then Arsenal. He said, “We want to keep on trying to, of course, dominate games. We feel we’ve dominated them, but of course we need a bit of brightness and spark in the last third – take the chances. I don’t really like to bring these up, but the momentum shifted for us with the Sheffield United game, of course it did.
Ole further added, “I’ve got the delegate’s report through from the referee and both decisions were wrong. Their goal should have been disallowed and ours should have stood. That is a big momentum change for us. It’s more likely when you go 1-0 up than 1-0 down, that you can win that game. That’s fine margins. It has been the way this season: fine margins. You hit the post, it’s going to go in or go out. That’s the way it is all season. Sometimes you’re lucky decisions, sometimes you’re not. We just have to keep focusing on this game, do our job and I’m sure the results and performances will come.“
For our opponents, Southampton is still without the likes of Mohammed Salisu, Nathan Tella, Michael Obafemi, and William Smallbone who are sidelined with injuries. Jannik Vestergaard and Kyle Walker-Peters are unlikely to feature as they are just returning from their respective injuries.
Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl is likely to pick most of the same side that played in the defeat against Aston Villa. The attacking line may change with Che Adams coming in for Nathan Redmond. Yan Valery could also potentially feature at right back.
Manchester United Premier League form: WWDWLD
Manchester United form (all competitions): WDWWLD
Southampton Premier League form: DDWLLL
Southampton form (all competitions): WLWWLL
- Manchester United are unbeaten against Southampton in the league since January 2016.
- The Red Devils have a good record against the Saints as we have won 66 matches out of a total of 128 games played between the sides.
- Manchester United have come from behind to win 10 different Premier League games against Southampton, including a 3-2 victory in the reverse fixture at St Mary’s this season.
- The last time Manchester United beat Southampton at Old Trafford was a 3-2 win in 2019 with goals from Pereira and Lukaku (2).
- In the last five matches between these two sides, neither has kept a clean sheet, with the most recent being a goalless draw at Old Trafford in 2018.
Manchester United vs Southampton Predicted Lineup
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood, and Martial.
This is going to be a tough game as United look to get back on the track after the two disappointing results against Sheffield United and Arsenal. Southampton have not been in great form themselves but can still pose a threat to us. It is going to be a very nervy game at Old Trafford but we will just have enough in our squad to get all three points.
Manchester United 2-1 Southampton