Preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep the same team for fifth match as Manchester United tasked to beat the Saints

Manchester United -v- Southampton

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Monday 13 July 2020, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Chris Kavanagh Assistants: Sian Massey-Ellis, Scott Ledger 

Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor Replacement Official: Jonathan Hunt

VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford in their penultimate Premier League match at the Theatre of Dreams this season. Of course, they will be playing at Old Trafford another time in the UEFA Europa League at the start of next month. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking his team to extend their unbeaten run to 18 matches, putting pressure on Chelsea and Leicester City, leapfrogging them into third.

Since the restart, United have drawn 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur, beaten Sheffield United, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Aston Villa by 3-0 scorelines, also beating Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League, not to mention a 2-1 victory over Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup a fortnight ago. Southampton will be a team aiming to stand in United’s way with Ralph Hasenhüttl looking to finish the season on a high.

Form: United unbeaten in their last six matches, winning five and drawing once, continuing a 17 match unbeaten run to end the season on a high; Saints beaten twice, drawn once with three wins.

Manchester United: WWWWWD

Aston Villa 3-0 W, Bournemouth 5-2 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Norwich City 2-1 W, Sheffield United 3-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D

Southampton: DWWLWL

Everton 1-1 D, Manchester City 1-0 W, Watford 3-1 W, Arsenal 2-0 L, Norwich City 3-0 W, Newcastle United 1-0 L

Top Scorers: Danny Ings has scored 22 goals for Southampton this season, beating both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford by two goals, however, Mason Greenwood, Rashford and Martial outscore the Saints by one goal.

Manchester United Goals: 20 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 16 – Mason Greenwood, 8 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are unbeaten in 17 matches, scoring 46 goals, conceding six times, keeping 12 clean sheets and driving forward in their bid to reach the top four of the Premier League. Chelsea have evaded United thus far with Leicester City being the team United have the chances of leapfrogging with just one point between them, at least before they face Bournemouth on Sunday evening, a day before United face Southampton.

Southampton Goals: 22 – Danny Ings, 5 – Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse, 4 – Stuart Armstrong, 3 – Shane Long, Michael Obafemi, 2 – Moussa Djenepo, Jack Stephens, 1 – Che Adams, Cédric Soares, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand, Sofiane Boufal, William Smallbone, Jannik Vestergaard, Jake Vokins

Southampton are currently in good form, recently beating Manchester City, which was a shock for the Premier League underachievers this season. It shows that this side can take on the very best of teams and get under their skin. With all due respect to the team placed 12th in the league, they are capable of performing to the best of their abilities. They will have United in their sights on Monday evening.

Team News: Jones and Tuanzebe still out for United – no other injury worries as Solskjaer gives impression no changes will be made; Southampton could be missing five players for Old Trafford visit.

Solskjaer will be without both Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones, as he has been since the restart of the league and other competitions this season. He has no other injury worries, which is what he confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Saturday morning, also indicating that he may not make any changes at all, saying:

“There’s so many things you have to consider when you manage a team. We’ve got players here champing at the bit, but also those that are in the rhythm.

“There are loads of decisions to be made, but they make it easier by playing and performing well. If we don’t get too many injuries, there’s no reason to change too much when you’re doing well.”

Southampton look set to be without four players with another subject to a late fitness test. Sofiane Boufal, Yan Valery, Nathan Tella, and Moussa Djenepo all look set to miss the visit to Old Trafford whereas the goalscorer from the last match, Jannik Vestergaard, will have to prove his fitness ahead of Monday’s match.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer to stick with the same XI for the fifth match in a row? Why change something when it works?

Solskjaer has not made any changes to his starting XI for four matches in a row and has hinted that he will do the same against Southampton at Old Trafford on Monday evening with the Red Devils seeking to improve own their 17-match unbeaten run and take advantage of the fact that Chelsea could be there for the taking, alongside Leicester City in a bid for United to break into the top four of the Premier League.

Match Prediction: United have the momentum to keep their 17-match unbeaten run going with teams starting to wonder when Solskjaer’s team will stop this season.

United and Southampton have played 41 times in the Premier League with United winning 26, drawing eight and losing seven times. United have scored 82 goals conceding 46. United have kept 11 clean sheets with the Saints keeping six. United have been awarded three penalties, scoring one, with the Saints awarded one and missing it. In total, United have 54 yellow cards the Saints have 65 with both teams having one red card.

Back in August when the two teams met the first time this season, it was a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s with Daniel James scoring the opening goal in the tenth minute of the match, assisted by Scott McTominay. The Saints equalised through Jannik Vestergaard in the 58th minute, assisted by Kevin Danso, who was sent off with a second yellow card in the 73rd minute. At Old Trafford last season, United won 3-2.

Manchester United 3-1 Southampton

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.