Preview: The Saints to put up a fight with Manchester United reigning supreme at St Mary’s

Southampton -v- Manchester United

Premier League 2017/18

St Mary’s, Southampton

Saturday 23rd September 2017; KO 15:00 BST

Not shown live in the United Kingdom

Manchester United travel down to the South Coast of England for their first 15:00 BST kick off in the Premier League against Southampton at St Mary’s. United have started their league campaign on good stead this season, beating West Ham United (4-0), Swansea City (4-0), Leicester City (2-0), drawing with Stoke City (2-2) and beating Everton (4-0) last weekend. In the UEFA Champions League, United beat FC Basel (3-0) last week also winning in the third round fo the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night at Old Trafford, seeing off Championship side Burton Albion (4-1), conceding the first goal at Old Trafford this season. United will be looking to keep their Premier League season in good stead, seeking a victory away to Southampton, keeping in with a shout of staying at the top of the league, matching Manchester City with results, points and goals scored. Jose Mourinho’s side have had a great start this season.

Southampton changed their manager recently, meaning it will not be the same side the club beat at Old Trafford and at Wembley last season, drawing in this fixture. United are a much better team though and are less reliant on a particular player with goals coming from across the pitch this season, the most coming from the attacking players, rather than their striker, which was what last season was about. This weekend, United could see their place at risk if they do not match Manchester City’s result, with the clubs bitter cross-city rivals facing strugglers Crystal Palace at home. Chelsea, currently in third and three points behind United and City could gain some ground with a victory at Stoke this weekend. If City and United win, they will remain the top two sides this weekend.

Previous Matches: Manchester United the dominant team heading into Saturday’s clash with the Saints

Manchester United and Southampton have played 121 matches in all competitions since the first fixture between the two sides, played on the 13th February 1897 – a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory to Newton Heath four days later. United have won 68 times, drawing 30 and losing just 28, which will see Southampton as the side with all to achieve against United, who are starting to show their strength in the Premier League and beyond this season. In the last three matches between the two clubs, United are undefeated winning at Old Trafford in the Premier League last season, a 2-0 scoreline with a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In the EFL Cup final at Wembley, the second match between the two clubs last season, United won 3-2, again a brace from Ibrahimovic with Jesse Lingard scoring also. At St Mary’s in the penultimate match of the season, it was a 0-0 draw with United getting ready for the UEFA Europa League final a week later. United have had many unbeaten runs over the Saints, the last one totaling eleven matches, running from a 3-2 victory on the 31st January 2004 to a 2-1 victory on the 8th December 2014.

Form: Mourinho’s side have had a much better start to the season then Pellegrino’s men

Manchester United started their season well, beating West Ham United and Swansea City with 4-0 scorelines, then beating Leicester City 2-0 ahead of the international break. Stoke City was United’s test immediately after the break, suffering a 2-2 draw. United then faces FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League, winning 3-0 before facing Everton in the league, winning 4-0 again. United saw fixtures coming thick and fast in September with the Carabao Cup coming into play with United facing Championship club Burton Albion, winning 4-1 and conceding the first goal at Old Trafford this season. United will be looking to continue their unbeaten run this season with a trip to St Mary’s on the cards, a stadium United have been lucky at in the past.

Southampton have not had the best start to the new season. In their opening match, a 0-0 draw with Swansea City may have been seen as a good start which was then followed by a 3-2 victory over West Ham United, four points in the opening two matches of the season. The Saints then lost 2-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup before drawing 0-0 with Premier League new boys Huddersfield Town ahead of the international break. After the break, the Saints were the subject of a 2-0 defeat to Watford, then a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Next up Manchester United, a tough time to face Jose Mourinho’s side.

Team News: Manchester United in good strength despite injuries

Jose Mourinho will be without Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Southampton, which is not as big a blow as it could have been. Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, the club’s other two long-term injury concerns are both back in action, Shaw making his first team comeback against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup victory on Wednesday evening, but may not be involved against his former club, unless Mourinho sees him as a starter, which could actually happen. Romelu Lukaku was rested, albeit on the bench, this week, so could return to face Southampton, a team he scored an 89th-minute goal against at Goodison Park last season. David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic were all rested from Wednesday’s squad, coming in fresh this weekend.

Predicted Starting XI: Mourinho’s Premier League side could be put to the test of keeping up their form in the league against the Saints

Match Prediction: United to dominate the Saints and pressure them to put three points in the bag, again

Southampton 1-3 Manchester United

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