Louis van Gaal and Ronald Koeman lock horns for the first time in English football this evening, with the pair both keen on getting one over on old rivals. United can leapfrog Southampton and jump up into third place with a win, with any other result keeping United in fifth place until next weekend at least.
This game is a must win. United must prove that they are a team on the up by taking all three points at difficult away grounds, particularly when you consider that Liverpool will be the next team to visit Old Trafford in just under a weeks time.
There isn’t a better time to play Southampton as they are suffering from a fair few injuries themselves – particularly in the middle of the park. This is something that United will have to exploit on a chilly evening at St Mary’s.
United’s injury problems seem to be easing up somewhat. Angel di Maria will miss this game with a hamstring problem, whereas Daley Blind is a long-term casualty, and will miss the next few weeks at least. Phil Jones is nearing a return, with there being a possibility of Jonny Evans and Rafael da Silva returning to the first-team squad. Luke Shaw misses the game against his former club with a foot injury.
Last Meeting: Southampton 1-1 Manchester United
United visited Southampton on the last day of the season last campaign, the game finished 1-1, and it proved to be Luke Shaw’s last in a Saints shirt before switching it for Manchester United Red in the summer.
Score Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Manchester United.
I reckon the game tonight will end in a draw, with Wayne Rooney scoring our goal to rescue a point late on. Southampton aren’t a team to underestimate, and they are flourishing under Koeman. United will have to be at their best.
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