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Ratings: Greenwood and Pogba lead the plaudits in Saints draw; Fernandes did well but was off his game slightly

Manchester United came from behind to draw 1-1 with Southampton at St Mary’s. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were tested on the road once again and needed to push to get back into the match after Fred was the last player to touch the ball, scoring an own goal in the 30th minute of the match. United battled back and earned an equaliser through Mason Greenwood, assisted by Paul Pogba which leaves Greenwood with two goals and Pogba with five assists after two matches this season. United could not find a winner, despite having the luxury of Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard, who came off the bench, as did Scott McTominay. United have matches Arsenal’s 27-match away unbeaten run and will be tested against Wolves next week.

United started well against the Saints and lost had the ball in the net in the early stages of the match, which was somehow cleared from the line. United were dominant in possession and by the 20-minute mark, had five shots on goal with one on target. Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes were the playing driving United forward and the Saints were heavily reliant on numbers in the box to stop United from taking an early lead. It would seem to be only a matter of time before United took the lead in the match. However, after a lot of pressing and posturing, it was the Saints that took the lead in the 30th minute of the match with Che Adams sending a feint ball towards the goal and David de Gea not able to stop it hitting the back of the net. United would need to come from behind once again to beat Southampton.

United were seeking to get the equaliser but the Saints were stopping them every chance they had. The home side them then tried to double their lead after Valentino Livramento burst forward with Fred chasing him, the Brazilian unable to chase him down and ending up falling near United’s box. The ball was crossed in across the face of the goal but United did enough to stop the Saints from scoring again. The warning signs have been shown for United and now they needed to find the form they had last week to get back on level ground. 26 matches away from home undefeated and it would be a shame if that ended in this match. I am sure that Solskjaer has something up his sleeve to change the outcome of this match but nothing happened to get the game level before the half time break.

The Saints made a single substitution during the half time break with Jan Bednarek replacing Theo Walcott. Solskjaer did not see a reason to make any changes right away but there would need to be some soon if the stagnation continued into the second half. United did have a chance to equalise with Pogba the last United player to touch the ball before calling for a handball against Mohammed Salisu, which was not given but United won a corner. Despite some positive play from the corner and the ball nearly finding its way to Anthony Martial, United were still behind in the fixture. In the 55th minute of the match Mason Greenwood scored his second goal of the season, his second in two matches with Paul Pogba providing the assist, his fifth of the season so far. United were level and now needed to find the victory in this match.

Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 59th minute of the match with Jadon Sancho replacing Anthony Martial, who did not have the best of performances against the Saints. Having just levelled the score before he came on, United would need to push the Saints to get the victory they need to keep their season on track. In the 64th minute, after some good play by Luke Shaw, Sancho and Fred, Greenwood had a header in the box which was just over the crossbar. United seemed to be building something in this stage of the match with Sancho starting to turn on the style. Another chance came to nothing though with the Saints goalkeeper gathering the ball and parrying a save. United are knocking on the door and the knocks will end up coming harder and faster as the game goes on.

The Saints made their second substitution in the 70th minute with Moussa Djenepo being replaced by Ibrahima Diallo after Djenepo was booked in the 51st minute for a foul and did not seem to heed that warning. The Saints then had a lot of the ball with United sitting back ready to grab the ball and start an attack, allowing the Saints to tire themselves ready for United to pounce, maybe? Scott McTominay was warming up as David de Gea made an important one-on-one save to deny the Saints from their second goal of the match – which was a great save and will build on the players confidence. The resulting corner came nothing from the Saints, but they did end up winning another, which once again resulted in a credible attempt on goal, which seemed to not create a problem for United. More warning signs for United – who need to get ahead in this match.

Solskjaer made his second substitution in the 76th minute of the match with Fred making way for McTominay. Harry Maguire was booked for a challenge in the 77th minute of the match, adding to the booking of Bruno Fernandes from the first half of the match. James Ward-Prowse took a free-kick, aiming straight for the goal with De Gea punching the ball into the box and United getting possession from it. It was another confidence boost for the Spaniard. The Saints then made their third substitution with Kyle Walker-Peters replacing Romain Perraud in the 80th minute of the match. The Saints were still pushing for another goal, to take all three points in this match but it was not happening for them. Solskjaer was readying Jesse Lingard to come on with five minutes left of the second half.

Lingard replaced Nemanja Matic in the 86th minute of the match with the Saints pushing for another goal late in the game. De Gea managed to clear the line though, which saw the Saints recover the ball and push yet again. United needed to find a spark of magic to win this match, although their unbeaten run would be stretched to 27 matches away from home, matching Arsenal’s record if the score stayed the same. Paul Pogba and Jack Stephens were booked in added time with both teams seeking to find a winner that never came. United matched Arsenal’s record, and could break it against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend, which will be another tough match on the road for Solskjaer’s side. Southampton will be happy with the point they earned and United will be seeking to right their wrongs from this match.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded a simple goal on the half hour mark, which left United behind. Could have and should have done better. Grew more confident as the game grew and did show glimpses of the De Gea he has been in the past. Good signs so far but we shall see what happens.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Made five tackles, one of the most present tacklers in this squad. Did lose the ball 12 times, committing one foul. Won more than 50% of his ground duels, failing to win an aerial duel. Made two key passes, successful with two of three crosses and one of three long balls.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Got into the Saints box in the early stages and launched a diving header towards goal but somehow, the threat of United was cleared off the line.

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5 Harry Maguire

Made three clearances, one interception, three tackles but also made an error with led to a shot on goal. Won four of five ground duels and his only aerial duel, Lost possession 15 times. Passing was just under 81%, which was positive. Hit the woodwork with a chance on goal, missing one big chance.

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23 Luke Shaw

Played a strong game against his former club. One interception, one tackle, dribbled past twice but played two key passes, successful with 50% of his cross attempts, successful with two of three long balls but that was all. An attacking presence in this match.

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17 Fred

Not the best performance from the Brazilian. Lost possession regularly in the first half and ended up deflecting the ball into United's goal as Southampton took the lead. McTominay replaced Fred in the 76th minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played a tough match but seemed to lack inspiration, at least in the first half. He had one shot on target, was successful with three of four long balls, successful with both dribble attempts, made one clearance, three interceptions and one tackle. He was replaced by Lingard in the 86th minute.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Played some good football against the Saints and was hungry for a goal. That came in the 55th minute of the match, assisted by Pogba, scoring his second goal of the season so far.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

It was not his day to inspire United to victory, despite his hat-trick against Leeds last week. He succeeded with one of five crosses, one of there long balls, made three key passes and created one big chance, losing the ball 18 times. He was booked in the first half.

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6 Paul Pogba

Seemed determined to carry his form from the Leeds match into this one but was not lucky with his chances in the first half. Provided the assist to Greenwood, who scored the equaliser in the 55th minute of the match, his fifth assist of the season so far. One key pass, six long balls, two shots off target and two blocked - Pogba was a player showing his best. He was booked for a cynical challenge in added time.

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9 Anthony Martial

Did not have the best performance against the Saints. Had one shot on target, missed one big chance, won one of three ground duels and one of two aerial duels. Lost the ball five times before he was replaced by Sancho in the 59th minute.

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Substitutes

25 Jadon Sancho

Replaced Martial 59'. Seemed interested in turning around this match. Made one successful dribble attempt, one key pass, successful on ground duel he made but lost the ball five times.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Fred 76'. Blocked a shot, made one dribble attempt, committed two fouls and lost the ball twice. His energy was needed though as United dawdled across the line to get a point.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Matic 86'. Had six touches of the ball but seemed to do nothing with it. That said, he had four minutes plus added time on the pitch. Reminded us what his presence in matches has been like when the matches matter.

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Goals: Fred og 30’; Mason Greenwood 55’

Assists: Paul Pogba 55′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred (McTominay 76′), Matic (Lingard 86′); Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Martial (Sancho 59′)

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Varane, Dalot; Mata, James, Van de Beek

Bookings: Moussa Djenepo 51′, Jack Stephens 90+3′; Bruno Fernandes 31′, Harry Maguire 77′, Paul Pogba 90+1′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Fernandes and Pogba start against Saints; Varane and Sancho on the bench

Manchester United travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League this afternoon. It is the second match of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and after the 5-2 destruction of Leeds United at Old Trafford last weekend, he will be confident of another three points in the bag this weekend. However, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton will be seeking to get back to winning ways in the league this season after their 3-1 defeat to Everton last weekend. United have the added benefit of know they took all six points against Southampton last season, winning 3-2 in they fixture, which included a late winner by Edinson Cavani, also winning 9-0 at Old Trafford just over two months later. This is a new season though and there is nothing granted in football. United will be tested, like they always have been at St Mary’s.

United sit top of the league at the time of writing, but that will change before a ball is kicked at St Mary’s on Sunday. Liverpool, Brentford, Everton and Watford all play before United this weekend and as they all won last weekend, they have a good chance of earning six points from their first two matches this season – which is also what United will be seeking to achieve on Sunday. Tottenham Hotspur kick off at the same time as United, and after beating Manchester City last weekend, will be seeking to start strongly, despite their defeat in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League against Paços de Ferreira on Thursday. Chelsea will go head to head with Arsenal for their chance to challenge for the top spot in the league in the second week of the season. United will have many challengers this season and they will need to work hard to reach the promised land.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, Matic;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba;

Martial

Substitutes:

Heaton; Varane, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, James, Van de Beek, McTominay; Sancho

Southampton:

McCarthy;

Livramento, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud;

Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo;

Armstrong, Adams

Substitutes:

Forster, Walker-Peters, Long, Redmond, Tella, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Bednarek, Valery

United and Southampton have met a total of 44 times in the Premier League. United have won 28 matches, drawing nine with the Saints winning seven times. The Red Devils have scored a grand total of 96 goals against Southampton with the South Coast club scoring 50 against United. The Red Devils have won four penalties against the Saints, scoring two of them with the Saints winning one penalty against United and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 12 clean sheets with the Saints keeping just six. Based on the history of these two clubs, there have not really been many discipline issues between the two clubs with United players being shown 57 yellow cards and one red card and the Saints players being shown 72 yellow cards and three red cards. There is no really rivalry between these clubs but it can be a cup final for the Saints.

Over the years there has been many players who have turned out for both United and the Saints. Luke Shaw is the current player to fit that bill, signing for United in the summer of 2014 just before Louis van Gaal became the manager of the club. He is the player that has proven himself the most in the last few years and could be considered as one of the best left-backs in world football at this time. His form last season and for England during Euro 2020 has been great for him He also started the season well against Leeds United at the Theatre of Dreams last weekend as United won 5-1. Other players to have played for both clubs are Danny Wallace, Danny Higginbotham, Joe Jordan, Mark Hughes, Morgan Schneiderlin and Andrei Kanchelskis. This match will see United wear their new third kit for the first time – some may compare it to a match at the Dell in 1996.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Sancho and Varane to start against the Saints; Greenwood, Fernandes and Pogba to complete the attack?

Manchester United travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It is the second match of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and after the 5-2 destruction of Leeds United at Old Trafford last weekend, he will be confident of another three points in the bag this weekend. However, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton will be seeking to get back to winning ways in the league this season after their 3-1 defeat to Everton last weekend. United have the added benefit of know they took all six points against Southampton last season, winning 3-2 in they fixture, which included a late winner by Edinson Cavani, also winning 9-0 at Old Trafford just over two months later. This is a new season though and there is nothing granted in football. United will be tested, like they always have been at St Mary’s.

United sit top of the league at the time of writing, but that will change before a ball is kicked at St Mary’s on Sunday. Liverpool, Brentford, Everton and Watford all play before United this weekend and as they all won last weekend, they have a good chance of earning six points from their first two matches this season – which is also what United will be seeking to achieve on Sunday. Tottenham Hotspur kick off at the same time as United, and after beating Manchester City last weekend, will be seeking to start strongly, despite their defeat in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League against Paços de Ferreira on Thursday. Chelsea will go head to head with Arsenal for their chance to challenge for the top spot in the league in the second week of the season. United will have many challengers this season and they will need to work hard to reach the promised land.

Previous meetings with Southampton and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Southampton have met a total of 44 times in the Premier League. United have won 28 matches, drawing nine with the Saints winning seven times. The Red Devils have scored a grand total of 96 goals against Southampton with the South Coast club scoring 50 against United. The Red Devils have won four penalties against the Saints, scoring two of them with the Saints winning one penalty against United and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 12 clean sheets with the Saints keeping just six. Based on the history of these two clubs, there have not really been many discipline issues between the two clubs with United players being shown 57 yellow cards and one red card and the Saints players being shown 72 yellow cards and three red cards. There is no really rivalry between these clubs but it can be a cup final for the Saints.

Over the years there has been many players who have turned out for both United and the Saints. Luke Shaw is the current player to fit that bill, signing for United in the summer of 2014 just before Louis van Gaal became the manager of the club. He is the player that has proven himself the most in the last few years and could be considered as one of the best left-backs in world football at this time. His form last season and for England during Euro 2020 has been great for him He also started the season well against Leeds United at the Theatre of Dreams last weekend as United won 5-1. Other players to have played for both clubs are Danny Wallace, Danny Higginbotham, Joe Jordan, Mark Hughes, Morgan Schneiderlin and Andrei Kanchelskis. This match will see United wear their new third kit for the first time – some may compare it to a match at the Dell in 1996.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea started the season as United’s number one goalkeeper and will be determined to continue that way. Despite conceding a goal against Leeds last weekend, which was an early goal of the season contender from Luke Ayling, he did well in his position and was not really tested. That will start to change as the season goes on. Southampton will be seeking to come back from a 3-1 defeat to Everton on the opening weekend, so there will be a threat coming from them. Wether they are able to contain United remains to be seen though. I am sure that Dean Henderson, when he is fit and Tom Heaton will be seeking to challenge De Gea for the starting position in the team, which could bring out the best of all three players, who are all top goalkeepers but have their main strengths in different areas. Let’s see how the season pans out.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence is about to his its strongest heading into the new season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw both seem to be doing well in the fullback positions and there is hope that if Kieran Tripper cannot be signed this summer that Diogo Dalot cold challenge for the right-back position. There is also Alex Telles to challenge Shaw, when he is back to full fitness. The main strength will come from Raphael Varane integrating into the first team after being announced before kick-off against Leeds last weekend, which really gave the Old Trafford crowd something to sing about. Partnering him with Harry Maguire could be the defence that is needed to get United to the next level. Granted, there will be mistakes in them at times but that could be said about any player to have played football at a high level in the sports entire history.

Midfield: Fred, Scott McTominay

Despite the massive hysteria of Fred and Scott McTominay being named in a starting XI, they tend to do well together against the lesser opposition. They both did well against Leeds, with Fred scoring his first goal of the season. Of course, no matter what they do on the pitch, there will always be the moaners who don’t take much notice and continue belittling the players. What do they know anyway? Granted, against teams like Liverpool, Manchester City etc, Fred and McTominay may not work, which is why United have other midfielders. A new midfielder arriving at the club this summer would be good for a title push, but without it, United will have to make do. I would like to see Donny van de Beek added to the midfield. During pre-season, I thought he did well, especially against Everton. Perhaps Solskjaer will get him integrated into the team this season?

Attacking Midfield: Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba

This could be the first chance to get United’s new attacking line accustomed to each other. Bruno Fernandes will play in the central role in the three behind the striker, which saw him score a hat-trick against Leeds last week, starting off the season to a very high standard. Paul Pogba cold feature on the left-wing again, which is a position that he has played in at times last season. He assisted four times against Leeds, which showed a different Pogba who seemed to be in the form of his life. Hopefully that will continue at St Mary’s on Sunday. Jadon Sancho came off the bench against Leeds and despite being pretty quite, started to settle in at the club. It may take him some time to find his feet in the Premier League but he will start doing that in these next two matches before the first international break of the season.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood

The 19-year-old scored his first goal of the season against Leeds United last weekend and it was a stunning finish for the academy graduate. Having played many minutes during the pre-season campaign, he seemed to be ready for the rigours of the season and started in fine fettle. He will continue to grow this season after breaking records at the club as a teenager, stlll having the option to further his records before he turns 20 in October. I reckon that after his performance against Leeds, he is undroppable this weekend and will lead the line, which could change throughout the match with the player changing positions regularly, so as not to see United become complacent and to keep the opposition on their toes. Solskjaer will have continued to get Greenwood to work hard in training this week ahead of the challenge of the Saints, who need to bounce back.

Substitutes: Tom Heaton; Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek; Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial

The bench for this match could be quite strong for this match considering the number of players at United at this time, even though there have been a number of departures on loan during the last 24 hours or so. Tom Heaton may have to wait for his competitive United debut and with Dean Henderson returning to training this week, there could be plenty of surprises in store in the goalkeeping area. Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams could be available, although the latter will be heading out on loan next week. In midfield, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard (who is once again linked to West Ham United) and Donny van de Beek could play a part in this match. In attack, despite only returning to training this week, Edinson Cavani could be back in action with Anthony Martial as the other forward on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Manchester United to continue unbeaten away run Southampton, aiming to match Arsenal’s 27-match run

Southampton -v- Manchester United

Premier League

St Mary’s, Southampton

Sunday 22 August 2021, KO 14:00 BST

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West

Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Lee Betts

Manchester United travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It is the second match of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and after the 5-2 destruction of Leeds United at Old Trafford last weekend, he will be confident of another three points in the bag this weekend. However, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton will be seeking to get back to winning ways in the league this season after their 3-1 defeat to Everton last weekend. United have the added benefit of know they took all six points against Southampton last season, winning 3-2 in they fixture, which included a late winner by Edinson Cavani, also winning 9-0 at Old Trafford just over two months later. This is a new season though and there is nothing granted in football. United will be tested, like they always have been at St Mary’s.

United sit top of the league at the time of writing, but that will change before a ball is kicked at St Mary’s on Sunday. Liverpool, Brentford, Everton and Watford all play before United this weekend and as they all won last weekend, they have a good chance of earning six points from their first two matches this season – which is also what United will be seeking to achieve on Sunday. Tottenham Hotspur kick off at the same time as United, and after beating Manchester City last weekend, will be seeking to start strongly, despite their defeat in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League against Paços de Ferreira on Thursday. Chelsea will go head to head with Arsenal for their chance to challenge for the top spot in the league in the second week of the season. United will have many challengers this season and they will need to work hard to reach the promised land.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WWDLW

Leeds United 5-1 W, Everton 4-0 W, Brentford 2-2 D, Queens Park Rangers 4-2 L, Derby County 2-1 W

Goals: 3 – Bruno Fernandes, 1 – Mason Greenwood, Fred

Assists: 4 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Victor Lindelof

Southampton – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LLWWW

Everton 3-1 L, Athletic Club 3-1 L, Levante 1-0 W, Swansea City 3-1 W, Cardiff City 4-0 W

Goals: 1 – Adam Armstrong

Assists: 1 – Che Adams

Previous meetings with Southampton and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Southampton have met a total of 44 times in the Premier League. United have won 28 matches, drawing nine with the Saints winning seven times. The Red Devils have scored a grand total of 96 goals against Southampton with the South Coast club scoring 50 against United. The Red Devils have won four penalties against the Saints, scoring two of them with the Saints winning one penalty against United and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 12 clean sheets with the Saints keeping just six. Based on the history of these two clubs, there have not really been many discipline issues between the two clubs with United players being shown 57 yellow cards and one red card and the Saints players being shown 72 yellow cards and three red cards. There is no really rivalry between these clubs but it can be a cup final for the Saints.

Over the years there has been many players who have turned out for both United and the Saints. Luke Shaw is the current player to fit that bill, signing for United in the summer of 2014 just before Louis van Gaal became the manager of the club. He is the player that has proven himself the most in the last few years and could be considered as one of the best left-backs in world football at this time. His form last season and for England during Euro 2020 has been great for him He also started the season well against Leeds United at the Theatre of Dreams last weekend as United won 5-1. Other players to have played for both clubs are Danny Wallace, Danny Higginbotham, Joe Jordan, Mark Hughes, Morgan Schneiderlin and Andrei Kanchelskis. This match will see United wear their new third kit for the first time – some may compare it to a match at the Dell in 1996.

Team News: Four players on the sidelines for United with other that could be involved from the bench. The Saints have two players on the sidelines with a strong squad other than that.

Marcus Rashford (shoulder), Alex Telles (ankle) and Dean Henderson (fatigue) have been ruled out of this match with Phil Jones (knee) also stepping up his recovery after missing the entire 2020/21 season. The good news is that Edinson Cavani and Eric Bailly both returned to training at the start of the week after an extended break following participation in Copa America and the Olympics respectively. Raphael Varane has been training with his new teammates this week and despite missing the behind closed doors match against Burnley at Old Trafford earlier in the week, could be involved against the Saints from the start. United have a good squad of players this season with the new signings and the players already in the squad and there could be more changes ahead of the transfer window closing at the end of the month.

William Smallbone (knee) and Sam McQueen (knee) are the only players one the sidelines through injury ahead of United’s visit to St Mary’s this weekend. The 3-1 defeat to Everton may have knocked the confidence of Hasenhüttl’s squad and United 5-1 destruction of Leeds United will cause more unease over the visit and not to mention the 9-0 defeat at Old Trafford last season, there will be many worries for Southampton ahead of this match. Of course, United won 3-2 in this fixture last season, which was a lot closer than the 9-0 destruction of the club just over two months later. It took United an added time winner to take all three points back to the Theatre of Dreams and the Saints might be confident of that result. That said, United seem to be stronger this season and in great form with players enjoying themselves.

Predicted Starting XI: Mason Greenwood to lead the attack, Jadon Sancho to start on the right-wing and Raphael Varane to make his Premier League debut against Southampton?

Solskjaer will have been happy with what he saw last week, even with the absence of Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford from the squad and not starting Jadon Sancho or having the availability of Raphael Varane. United score five goals against Leeds United and both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes were in the form of their lives. More will be expected against Southampton after they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Everton, a team that United defeated 4-0 in their final pre-season match of the summer only a week before that match. United seem to be in great form at this time and keeping that running will be key to how the clubs starts the new Premier League season. There is one more match after this one before the first international break of the season and getting through both of them with three points from each match is the target.

Mason Greenwood should keep his place as the main striker in the match as he can do things that are special, which was shown against Leeds. Paul Pogba could play on the left-flank once again, despite playing better in the deeper role against Leeds with Bruno Fernandes playing in the middle and Jadon Sancho making his first start for United after coming on late in the match against Leeds. A midfield duo of Scott McTominay and Fred could be a good decision once again, must to the detest of the negative so-called supporters of the club who will moan about a defeat before a ball has even been kicked at St Mary’s on Sunday. In defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should keep their places in the fullback positions with Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane partnering each other in the centre of the defence for the first time. David De Gea should be in goal.

Match Prediction: Manchester United to make it 27 matches unbeaten on the road, matching Arsenal’s record between April 2003 and September 2004?

United overcame their first hurdle last weekend against Leeds United, winning 5-1 and sitting at the top of the Premier League heading into the second weekend of action. It was a good start for United, but overcoming the second hurdle of the season is just as imperative. Solskjaer will be happy with what he saw last weekend, especially with the four assists by Paul Pogba and the hat-trick scored by Bruno Fernandes. Fred will be happy with his first goal of the season and Mason Greenwood will be happy with his, as will the supporters of the club after he showed his predatory style of play, which was great with the absence of Edinson Cavani, who is the clubs first-choice striker at this present time. United will be seeking to go out with all guns blazing against the Saints, who will need to find the resolve to avert a disaster.

It could well be that Solskjaer will unleash the likes of Greenwood, Pogba, Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Scott McTominay, Fred, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and David De Gea against Southampton, opting not to make many changes from the victory over Leeds last week. It is possible that the likes of Jesse Lingard, Donny Van de Beek, Edinson Cavani or Anthony Martial could come off the bench to inspire United to victory, which if the form they are in after the 4-0 pre-season victory over Everton and the demolition of Leeds last weekend puts them in at this important stage of the season. United will have one more match, on the road again, against Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend ahead of the first International break of the season. Keeping their unbeaten away run and seeking to match Arsenal’s record of 27 unbeaten.

Southampton 1-4 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Nine goal thriller against the Saints; Shaw cracking, Martial impressive, McTominay crucial in great team performance

Manchester United destroyed Southampton 9-0 in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off for the challenge on Scott McTominay in the second minute of the match, putting the Saints down to the men. United opened the scoring through Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 18th minute, doubling their lead through Marcus Rashford in the 25th. Jan Bednarek scored an own goal in the 34th before Edinson Cavani scored a fourth in the 39th. In the second half, United scored a fifth through Anthony Martial in the 69th before McTominay scored in the 71st. Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in the 87th with Martial completing his brace in the 90th before Daniel James struck in added time.

It was an eventful start with a red card shown in the second minute. Alexandre Jankewitz’s high studded challenge on Scott McTominay. It looked like a terrible challenge which resulted in the dismissal of the 19-year-old. It took just 18 minutes of the match before United opened the scoring. Victor Lindelof played the ball up field, over the top with Marcus Rashford collecting and passing to Luke Shaw, whose lovely ball flies over the head of Ryan Bertrand and into Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who scored his second goal fo the season to put United ahead in the match. It was a great attack by United.

United doubled their lead seven minutes later through Rashford. The ball came from the left again as Harry Maguire found Shaw, he then darted past Moussa Djenepo and fed Mason Greenwood at the byline. The young United attacker then pulled the ball back for Rashford on the penalty spot with the forward opening up his body, directing the ball past Alex McCarthy like a hot knife through butter. This was turning into a good match for United, who needed to turn on the charm following the defeat to Sheffield United and the draw with Arsenal in their last two matches.

United did not stop there though, still on the attack looking to punish Southampton. Rashford was in space on the right of the box and curled in a wicked cross. Jan Bednarek reached the ball first, stuck out a leg and diverted the ball into his own net. It was an unfortunate own goal to concede but United were three goals to the good on a cracking night at Old Trafford. United did not leave it there in this busy first half. Edinson Cavani scored United’s fourth goal of the match in the 39th minute. Shaw had the ball on the left, put in a wicked delivery with the Uruguayan scoring with a powering header. What a goal.

United could have had a fifth goal with a penalty shout at the end of the first half. Cavani was fouled right on the line, which should have resulted in a penalty. After a minute or so, VAR gave a free-kick seemingly because the challenge happened outside of the box, it looked like it was right on the line. Bruno Fernandes took the free-kick, which resulted in nothing for the home side, luckily for the Saints. At the start of the second half, Solskjaer made a double substitution with Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial replacing Shaw and Cavani, which will give the duo some rest before the Everton match on Saturday evening.

Southampton got themselves back into the match in the 53rd minute with Che Adams scoring through Harry Maguire’s legs, from an angle. VAR looked at the goal for what seemed like a minute, eventually ruling the goal out for offside with United clean sheet being restored once again. United made their third substitution in the 60th minute with Daniel James replacing Rashford – this being his first match involvement since the victory over Watford in the FA Cup at the start of January. United scored their fifth goal though Anthony Martial in the 69th minute with the assist coming over the top from Bruno Fernandes.

United continued to burn rubber in the match despite being five goals to the good and certainly the winners of the match. Greenwood tried to get the better of McCarthy from an angle but the ball squirmed out to McTominay 25-yards from goal. He ran onto the ball, controlled his effort and placed it into the bottom right corner for put United 6-0 up in the match. It was not a good night for the Saints, who would leave Old Trafford with nothing from this match other than a suspension for Jankewitz, who will definitely miss the next match. United needed a match like this at this stage of the season as they were in need of a confidence boost.

United won a penalty in the 87th minute of the match after Bednarek fouled Martial. VAR awarded the penalty with Mike Dean sending the Southampton player off for the challenge. Bruno Fernandes took the penalty, scoring his 17th goal of the season. United were 7-0 up in the game with minutes to go. That was not it though. Martial scored his second goal of the evening in the 90th minute after a cross was whipped in by Wan-Bissaka, touching a defender with Martial slotting the ball into the net. Daniel James scored United’s ninth in added time with Fernandes cushioning a header into the Welshman for him to finish the scoring.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Had a good performance for United despite not really being tested. Conceded a goal which was then ruled out by VAR. Kept a clean sheet and will be thrilled with this team performance.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played a fantastic game against the Saints. Scored the opening goal in the 18th minute of the match, assisted by Shaw. He got forward a lot of the match with United mainly in the Southampton area, dominating the play. Should have had an assist but the ball touched a Saints defender.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Played well, not that he was really needed defensively. Played the ball over the top which started the play for the opening goal. He has a great eye for a long pass. Solskjaer will be pleased that

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5 Harry Maguire

Led United well in this impressive victory over Southampton. Was never really tested in defence other than the goal which Adams scored through his legs from an angle, but it was ruled out for offside. Will be happy with the result and the clean sheet.

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23 Luke Shaw

Had a great match at left-back. Assisted for the opening goal in the 18th minute of the match, scored by Wan-Bissaka. Provided another assist in the 39th minute for Cavani, who put United 4-0 up in the first half. Shaw is in some great form at this moment in time. He was replaced bu Van de Beek during the half time break, seemingly being saved for the clash with Everton on Saturday evening.

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39 Scott McTominay

This match did not start all that great fo McTominay, who was fouled in the opening minutes and received a few nasty scratches to his thigh after an early challenge with Jankewitz, who was sent off for the challenge. He almost scored in the first half of the match and played a good midfield role for United. Some don't rate the player, which seems strange as his hunger and determination is second to none. He will become so much better with Darren Fletcher involved in his coaching.

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17 Fred

Played a good game and his defensive man-marking aspect was not really needed for large parts of the match. Helped keep the midfield ticking over and did what he needed to do.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Got an assist for the second goal of the game, playing the ball into Rashford to put United 2-0 up. Played well and will be pleased with the result and the all round team performance.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Despite being quiet at times in the match, he got himself two assists and a goal, albeit from the penalty spot as United battered Southampton with a 9-0 scoreline. Played a brilliant game. His header into James in added time was great to see. Cracking performance.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Had a good game against the Saints. Scored United's second goal of the game, assisted by Greenwood in the 25th minute of the match. United took advantage of the Saints being a man down from the second minute after a sending off. He was replaced by James in the 60th minute, getting some rest ahead of the Everton match.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Played a great game against Southampton. United were 4-0 up by the time the first half ended, with the Uruguayan getting the fourth goal himself. His positioning, is ability and his sheer determination give the impression that he is United's main striker at this moment in time. He was replaced during half time by Martial.

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Substitutes

34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Shaw 46'. Came on at the start of the second half but was booked for a challenge. Played a part in the game despite not scoring or assisting. He needs to play more this season - perhaps in the Europa League. He's a talented lad but

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Cavani 46'. Got himself two goals coming off the bench at the start of the second half. His finishing was good to see and this should instill some confidence in him ahead of the remainder of the season. He was pleased with his two goals and so he should be.

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Ratings: Nine goal thriller against the Saints; Shaw cracking, Martial impressive, McTominay crucial in great team performance

Replaced Rashford 60'. Got 30 minutes on the pitch, which he will be thankful for. Scored a cracking goal in added time, assisted by Fernandes. What a result for United.

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Goals: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 18′, Marcus Rashford 25′, Jan Bednarek 34′ o/g, Edinson Cavani 39′, Anthony Martial 69’, 90′, Scott McTominay 71’, Bruno Fernandes 87′ penalty, Daniel James 90+3′

Assists: Luke Shaw 18′, 39′, Mason Greenwood 25′, Bruno Fernandes 69′, 90+3′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Van de Beek 46′); McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford (James 60′); Cavani (Martial 46′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams; Pogba, Matic

Bookings: Harry Maguire 52′, Donny van de Beek 53′; Alexandre Jankewitz 2′ s/o, Kayne Ramsay 42′, Jack Stephens 45′, Jan Bednarek 86′ s/o, Stuart Armstrong 89′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford and Cavani start against Southampton; Pogba on the bench

Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford in the Premier League this evening. United have been in poor form for the past two matches, losing to Sheffield United and drawing against Arsenal. United have been a different team away from home that at the Theatre of Dreams and this will be a big test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season. United have been at the top of the league but currently sit in second place after Leeds United beat Leicester City in one of Sunday’s matches, leaving United safe, for now. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s sides form has dropped since the start of the season and he will be looking to bring it back.

Now that Liverpool are back to scoring, winning their last two matches in a row, United will be under much more pressure to keep their apparent title charge alive, even though the majority are against them winning the league this season, not that it is a possibility right now with just under half the season left to play. You cannot blame factions of the fan base from being positive though, as United have come a long way under Solskjaer than they ever did under Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes. Some will suggest that is rubbish as Van Gaal and Mourinho brought three major honours to the club during their time.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford;

Cavani

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams; Pogba, James, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial

Southampton:

McCarthy;

Ramsay, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand;

Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Jankewitz, Dkenpo

Adams, Ings

Substitutes:

Lewis, Forster; Tchaptchet; Redmond, Ferry, Finnigan, Chauke; N’Lundulu

United and the Saints have met 43 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 27 times, drawing nine times and losing seven times. United have scored a total of 87 goals, conceding 50 with United winning three penalties and scoring one with the Saints winning one and failing to score. United have kept 11 clean sheets with the Saints keeping six. United have received 55 yellow cards and one red card. The Saints have received 69 yellow cards and one red card. The past two matches have been frustrating for United, losing once and drawing once and not really threatening in front of goal much in those two matches.

Earlier in the season, with Southampton in much better form, United visited St Mary’s winning the match 3-2. Southampton led 2-0 with goals from Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse at half time with Bruno Fernandes getting United back in the game in the 60th minute and Edinson Cavani scoring a late brace to give United all three points. At Old Trafford last season, it was a 2-2 draw between these two sides with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring, Marcus Rashford equalising, Anthony Martial putting United in the lead for the first time in the match which led to Michael Obafemi levelling the score in added time.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-1-2] Could Amad Diallo have some involvement against Southampton? Cavani and Greenwood to lead the attack, supported by Fernandes?

Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. United have been in poor form for the past two matches, losing to Sheffield United and drawing against Arsenal. United have been a different team away from home that at the Theatre of Dreams and this will be a big test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season. United have been at the top of the league but currently sit in second place after Leeds United beat Leicester City in one of Sunday’s matches, leaving United safe, for now. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s sides form has dropped since the start of the season and he will be looking to bring it back.

Now that Liverpool are back to scoring, winning their last two matches in a row, United will be under much more pressure to keep their apparent title charge alive, even though the majority are against them winning the league this season, not that it is a possibility right now with just under half the season left to play. You cannot blame factions of the fan base from being positive though, as United have come a long way under Solskjaer than they ever did under Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes. Some will suggest that is rubbish as Van Gaal and Mourinho brought three major honours to the club during their time.

How United have faired against Southampton in the Premier League.

United and the Saints have met 43 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 27 times, drawing nine times and losing seven times. United have scored a total of 87 goals, conceding 50 with United winning three penalties and scoring one with the Saints winning one and failing to score. United have kept 11 clean sheets with the Saints keeping six. United have received 55 yellow cards and one red card. The Saints have received 69 yellow cards and one red card. The past two matches have been frustrating for United, losing once and drawing once and not really threatening in front of goal much in those two matches.

Earlier in the season, with Southampton in much better form, United visited St Mary’s winning the match 3-2. Southampton led 2-0 with goals from Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse at half time with Bruno Fernandes getting United back in the game in the 60th minute and Edinson Cavani scoring a late brace to give United all three points. At Old Trafford last season, it was a 2-2 draw between these two sides with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring, Marcus Rashford equalising, Anthony Martial putting United in the lead for the first time in the match which led to Michael Obafemi levelling the score in added time.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Southampton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

I expect David De Gea to keep his place against Southampton with United needing to find defensive purity after their clean sheet against Arsenal and find a way to score the goals, which is more important at this time. De Gea made a few good saves to deny Arsenal from scoring at the Emirates on Saturday and I am sure he will be ready to step in should Southampton pose more of a challenge for United at the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday evening. De Gea has had some blips over the past few seasons but there is still something there to drive him to become that player he was after Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United kept a clean sheet against Arsenal and despite that being a positive, Arsenal won four points against United this season, keeping a clean sheet both times. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was one of the stars in the 0-0 draw with Arsenal, doing a lot both defensively and offensively. Because of this, he will keep his place against Southampton. Luke Shaw, who has had his own purple patch this season, should also keep his place against the Saints. Harry Maguire is one of the first names on the team sheet right now and his partner should be Eric Bailly, who has been missing for a few matches after showing some form himself recently.

Midfield Three: Donny van de Beek, Fred, Paul Pogba

A three-man midfield seemed to give United a good start against Arsenal, however, Scott McTominay’s stomach complaint stopped that with the player not recovering and having to be replaced by Anthony Martial. Fred played a good game and for that reason, he should keep his place as the defensive-minded midfielder in the team. Paul Pogba has been playing well lately and he too should keep his place in the team as he could be an output in an attacking sense. With McTominay coming off early against Arsenal, he might not feature against Southampton. In which case, Donny van de Beek should start as he has the talent and drive to succeed.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes has had a good year at United but the match to mark that was not the best for him or United. His hunger, drive and sheer determination to succeed is second to none at the club and when he cannot pull the strings or delivery something, there is no-one else that will be more frustrated than him. Fernandes has scored 28 goals and 18 assists since joining United a year ago, which is a great achievement for the player. He has had a great start to life at United, much like that of Eric Cantona in the years gone by. Fernandes will continue to do what he does best and will strive to create things against the Saints on Tuesday evening.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani

United might need to tweak the formation against the Saints, playing two forwards in stead of just one. Edinson Cavani has been a good signing for United despite the five goals and two assists he has scored. Many of which have been important for the player and the club moving forward. He’s a better striker that Anthony Martial, who has not really inspired much this season. Mason Greenwood should partner him in his favoured position, which might work out well for United. Goals needs to be scored and the club needs to get points on the board. Martial and Marcus Rashford could have some involvement from the bench, if needed.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles; Juan Mata, Amad Diallo, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic; Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

United can name nine substitutes on the bench, using three of them. Dean Henderson will remain one the bench against Southampton with David De Gea looking to make his mark for his club once again. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Alex Telles could offer something, if the ante needs to be changes throughout the match. In midfield, the experience of Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic could offer stability but the pace of both Daniel James and Amad Diallo, who scored a brace against Liverpool for the U23’s on Saturday could be a good outcome. In attack, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will be available to offer something, if required.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Cavani and Greenwood tasked to find the goals against Southampton; Diallo to be involved from the bench?

Manchester United -v- Southampton

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 2 February 2021, KO 20:15 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin, Darren Cann

Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. United have been in poor form for the past two matches, losing to Sheffield United and drawing against Arsenal. United have been a different team away from home that at the Theatre of Dreams and this will be a big test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season. United have been at the top of the league but currently sit in second place after Leeds United beat Leicester City in one of Sunday’s matches, leaving United safe, for now. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s sides form has dropped since the start of the season and he will be looking to bring it back.

Now that Liverpool are back to scoring, winning their last two matches in a row, United will be under much more pressure to keep their apparent title charge alive, even though the majority are against them winning the league this season, not that it is a possibility right now with just under half the season left to play. You cannot blame factions of the fan base from being positive though, as United have come a long way under Solskjaer than they ever did under Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes. Some will suggest that is rubbish as Van Gaal and Mourinho brought three major honours to the club during their time.

Manchester United: DLWWDW

Arsenal 0-0 D, Sheffield United 1-2 L, Liverpool 3-2 W, Fulham 2-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D, Burnley 1-0 W

Southampton: LLWWLW

Aston Villa 1-0 L, Arsenal 3-1 L, Arsenal 1-0 W, Shrewsbury Town 2-0 W, Leicester City 2-0 L, Liverpool 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes (16) and Marcus Rashford (15) lead the scorers for United, despite neither scoring in their last few matches. Danny Ings has seven goals for Southampton this season.

Manchester United Goals: 16 – Bruno Fernandes, 15 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, 2 – Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United need to go back to the basics in their game plans to find a way to win again. The club has achieved a lot over the past few months from rising up the league table to topping it and seemingly starting a title charge. The last two matches have been a disappointment, losing to Sheffield United and drawing against Arsenal which has left Manchester City in a good position to go clear at the top of the league. Liverpool have seemingly caught up too. Solskjaer will need to ensure he picks the right team and the right formation as things could do with being better right now. Some players are worryingly out of form too.

Southampton Goals: 7 – Danny Ings, 5 – James Ward-Prowse, 4 – Che Adams, 3 – Stuart Armstrong, Jannik Vestergaard, 2 – Theo Walcott, 1 – Jan Bednarek, Moussa Djenepo, Daniel N’Lundulu, Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu

Southampton started the current season well and rose up the Premier League table but over the past few months, they have slipped down to 11th place, which might be a worry for them. In the league, they last beat Liverpool, only beating Shrewsbury Town and Arsenal in the FA Cup, but losing their last two matches aghast Arsenal and Aston Villa. The Saints may worry about visiting Old Trafford, but with United’s form at their home stadium this season, they must have a small but of confidence that a result can be obtained from the clash. United will need to be at the top of their game and should be winning these matches.

Team News: Amad Diallo should be in contention to feature for United against Southampton after his two goals against Liverpool U23’s on Saturday; one players on the sidelines for United, two players have left on loan and one more expected to leave the club before the transfer window closes.

Phil Jones (knee) is the only player currently on the sidelines at United although Scott McTominay (stomach cramps) came off in the first half inn the draw with Arsenal, which might rule him out of the clash with Southampton. Facundo Pellistri and Jesse Lingard have both left the club on loan for the remainder of the season with Marcos Rojo also expected to leave the club before the closure of the January transfer window on Monday. United, aside of the above, will be ready and raring to go against Southampton. Hopefully, Amad Diallo scoring twice against Liverpool at U23 level could shoe him in for this match in some stage?

Kyle Walker-Peters (thigh), William Smallbone (knee), Michael Obafemi (surgery), Nathan Tella (thigh) and Mohamed Salisu (other) have all been ruled out of the clash with United. Jannik Vestergaard (knee) has a 50% chance of being involved against United but the match may come too soon for the player. The Saints will be seeking a good result at the Theatre of Dreams, which may or may not happen for them. United remains unbeaten in the last ten matches between the two clubs, winning five and drawing five. The last time Southampton beat United was on the 23 January 2016; a 1-0 victory at the Theatre of Dreams.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood to lead the line against the Saints? Amad Diallo to come off the bench making his first team debut?

Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood should lead the line against Southampton on Tuesday evening. Anthony Martial is out of form and Marcus Rashford has not been the same player for much of January. I feel that both players will need to do more to be selected as they have both helped cause United’s poor form at this stage of the season. I would like to see Amad Diallo involved in some respect, probably not as a starter though but coming off the bench, late in the match could give him a bit of a breakthrough. His two goals against Liverpool at U23 level would have given him the confidence to succeed at United, also giving him the hunger.

Match Prediction: 43 matches in the Premier League between United at Southampton; United have won 27 times, drawn nine times and lost seven times.

United and the Saints have met 43 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 27 times, drawing nine times and losing seven times. United have scored a total of 87 goals, conceding 50 with United winning three penalties and scoring one with the Saints winning one and failing to score. United have kept 11 clean sheets with the Saints keeping six. United have received 55 yellow cards and one red card. The Saints have received 69 yellow cards and one red card. The past two matches have been frustrating for United, losing once and drawing once and not really threatening in front of goal much in those two matches.

Earlier in the season, with Southampton in much better form, United visited St Mary’s winning the match 3-2. Southampton led 2-0 with goals from Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse at half time with Bruno Fernandes getting United back in the game in the 60th minute and Edinson Cavani scoring a late brace to give United all three points. At Old Trafford last season, it was a 2-2 draw between these two sides with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring, Marcus Rashford equalising, Anthony Martial putting United in the lead for the first time in the match which led to Michael Obafemi levelling the score in added time.

Manchester United 2-0 Southampton

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Cavani is a cracking player; Fernandes dug in and Henderson positive after league debut as United beat the Saints 3-2

Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be relieved after seeing his side go 2-0 down in the first half and lose David De Gea to a knock, which saw Dean Henderson make his Premier League debut for the club. Bruno Fernandes got United back into the game with his goal in the 60th minute of the match and a brace from Edinson Cavani (74′ and 90+2′) got United another three points on the road this season, which is where they have played their best football, only winning at home to West Bromwich Albion for the first time in the league this season last weekend.

United started well against the Saints and were seeking to pressure the home side from the very start of the match. Mason Greenwood had the chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute of the match but his left-footed shot was wide of the target. Bruno Fernandes then had a chance nine minutes later, shooting wide of the target. The Saints took the lead in the 23rd minute of the match from a corner taken by James Ward-Prowse which found Jan Bednarek inside the box for the Polish defender to head past David De Gea. The Saints seemed to have risen to United’s challenge and were pushing to ensure they cause maximum damage.

United did not recover from the opening goal with the Saints turning the tide and pressuring United and their shaky defence, which seemed inept at times in the first half. The quick passing and the attacking threat made United look poor and ten minutes after the opening goal, Ward-Prowse scored himself from a free-kick with De Gea reaching the ball and getting half a hand on it but was unable to stop the strike from being scored. United were 2-0 down with a lot of soul searching to be done to get back into the match. United never really got themselves back into the match before the end of the first half. There will be a lot to play for now.

At the start of the second half, United made a double substitution with Dean Henderson replacing De Gea and Edinson Cavani replacing Greenwood. Seven minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford has a chance on goal which was saved by Alex McCarthy. Cavani had a chance, winning a corner for United, which came to nothing. United eventually scored in the 60th minute of the match through Fernandes, assisted by Cavani whose cross picked out the Portuguese midfielder who showed his clinical edge to get United back into the match. Cavani scored the equaliser for United in the 74th minute of the match with a superb header.

Despite looking settled for the draw and a point, United continued to break forward and create. Cavani scored the winning in the second minute of stoppage time, despite other chances to do the same. Like his first goal in the match, the winner came off his head. United seemed dead and buried as they conceded the second goal of the match to go 2-0 down by Fernandes’ goal in the second half, followed by the equaliser gave United the impetus to continue breaking forward and find that winning goal. They have shot up to seventh in the league with this win and will now be getting ready to face Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded twice in ten minutes during the first half. Ward-Prowse swung a corner in for Bednarek to head home and Ward-Prowse scoring from a free-kick ten minutes later. The Spaniard seemed to suffer a knock in the second goal, which is worrying. He was replaced by Henderson at the start of the second half.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Defensively, Wan-Bissaka did well against Southampton and played better in the second half. He ability to tackle, at last-ditch is second to none and it shows how he is as a player. I say this often but he needs to start offering more going forward.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Did not concede in open play. Seemed determined to get United back in the game from 2-0 and as we saw, they got back into the game, levelled the game and won the game.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led the team from behind to victory. United need to get better defensively. January should see United looking to sign a player to improve the defence. This will be the area that lets United down this season, especially with many injury prone players in the team.

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27 Alex Telles

Played well against Southampton at left-back. It is good to see a player that can offer more than Shaw has at the club. Despite going 2-0 down in the first half and levelling (2-2) by the 74th minute, Telles did well, getting forward a lot of the time. He was replaced by Williams in the 84th minute of the match.

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17 Fred

Played some good football against Southampton but many will not recognise that as they only want to see Pogba play dire football as he's 'the man' apparently. Fred offers United something, his work rate is good and he's been in good form recently. Just because he does not score regularly does not mean he's rubbish.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Slow at times but defensively, he can pull it out of the bag and help United, not that it happened for both Southampton goals, which came from set-pieces.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Did well in midfield in a match which perhaps saw the worst of United in the first half and the best of United in the second half. It was good to see him start again. Hopefully he starts against PSG on Wednesday too.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Seemed off against the Saints. Had a good chance on goal in the 16th minute but was off target. On the hour mark of the match, the Portuguese midfielder got United back in the game after Cavani assisted for him. Assisted for Cavani 14 minutes later to level the game for United.

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11 Mason Greenwood

His finishing was poor. He could have put United ahead in the seventh minute of the match. He was replaced by Cavani in the 46th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

His pace is great for United but at this moment in time, Rashford is either in form or he's not. At the moment, he seems to be in the latter. Had the chance to score for United in the second half, running through on goal but could not beat the goalkeeper. Got an assist for Cavani's winner in added time.

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Substitutes

26 Dean Henderson

Replaced De Gea 46'. Was not really tested by Southampton, who did all their scoring in the first half of the match. Good to see him make his United debut in the Premier League though. If De Gea is out for any length of time, I am sure he can fill the void, if needed.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Greenwood 46'. Assisted for Fernandes to put United back in the game and scored, assisted by Fernandes 14 minutes later to level the game. He's a cracking striker to have at the club. Another 30+ player with skill and class. Age is but a number. He scored the winner in the second minute of added time showing his class with another sublime header.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Telles 84'. Came on late in the game with United drawing 2-2 at the time. Did his job and United went on to get the win.

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Goals: Jan Bednarek 23′, James Ward-Prowse 33′; Bruno Fernandes 60′, Edinson Cavani 74′, 90+2′

Assists: James Ward-Prowse 23′; Edinson Cavani 60′, Bruno Fernandes 74′, Marcus Rashford 90+2′

Manchester United: De Gea (Henderson 46′); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles (Williams 84′); Fred, Matic, Van de Beek; Fernandes; Greenwood (Cavani 46′), Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe; Mata, James

Bookings: James Ward-Prowse 16′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Rashford, Greenwood and Fernandes lead the line against the Saints; Van de Beek starts again

Manchester United return to Premier League action as they face Southampton at St Mary’s this afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be fresh from their 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, which saw a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a goal each from Marcus Rashford (from the penalty spot) and Daniel James, who scored his first goal of the season and his first in the UEFA Champions League during his career, which will have been a big occasion for him. Southampton will have had more rest being that they played a day before United, despite United also playing on Saturday evening.

United will be seeking to end November on a high, especially with nine matches to play in December – five of those to be played in a 12-day period between the 17th and 29th December. Solskjaer will be looking to keep United on the right track, which they seem to be on right now after their defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir just over three weeks ago, winning their last three matches in a row. With December looking like an important month, Solskjaer will be seeking to put United towards the top of the table, which is a possibility. United are not a terrible team but they have been playing terribly, perhaps because of a lack of pre-season this summer.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles;

Fred, Matic, Van de Beek;

Fernandes;

Greenwood, Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Fosu-Mensah, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, James; Cavani

Southampton:

McCarthy;

Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand;

Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo;

Walcott, Adams

Substitutes:

Forster, Stephens, Long, Obafemi, Tella, Diallo, N’Lundulu

United and the Saints have played a total of 42 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 26 times, the Saints have won seven times and the two teams have drawn nine times. United have scored 84 goals against the Saints; winning three penalties – scoring one of them. The Saints have scored 48 goals against United; winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept 11 clean sheets against Southampton with the Saints keeping six. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 55 yellow cards and one red card whereas the Saints have been shown 68 yellow cards and one red card.

In the last two Premier League matches played, neither team has won. At St Mary’s, which was played on the 31 August 2019, it was a 1-1 draw with Daniel James opening the scoring in the tenth minute of the match and Jannik Vestergaard scoring the equaliser in the 58th minute. Kevin Danso was sent off (second yellow card) in the 72nd minute of the match. At Old Trafford, which was played on the 13 July 2020, it was a 2-2 draw with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring in the 12th minute, Marcus Rashford equalising in the 20th minute, Anthony Martial putting United ahead in the 23rd minute and Michael Obafemi equalising in added time.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW