Match Previews

Match Preview: Southampton vs Manchester United

A late winner saw United qualify in the Champions League midweek, while Southampton were again beaten – this time on penalties.

Both bosses in this one are at risk of losing their respective jobs if things fail to improve, as former red Mark Hughes is rumoured to be facing the chop as his men scrap at the bottom of the table, and José Mourinho continues to send supporters in despair; but Saturday night offers both the chance for improvements.

There could be some serious shuffling down on South coast post-match if one of these sides get swept away.

Kick-off: 17:30 [GMT]
Venue: St. Mary’s
Referee: Kevin Friend

The Saints

Position: 18th
Form: LLDLD
Top scorer: Danny Ings [4]
Most assists: Cédric Soares [2]
One to watch: Stuart Armstrong

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Sam Gallagher – hamstring (unknown)
  • Danny Ings – hamstring (late fitness test)
  • Shane Long – ankle (four weeks)

Expected lineup

(4-2-3-1) McCarthy; Soares, Yoshida, Hoedt, Targett; Højbjerg, Lemina; Gabbiadini, Armstrong, Redmond; Austin.

Key quote

We went back to three at the back [in midweek] and that will have positives in games & sometimes there’s negatives in any formation you go with; but it was interesting to see how the guys got back to that system – they looked very, very comfortable with it.” – Mark Hughes

Next match: Tottenham Hotspur [A] 5/12/18

The Red Devils

Talking points

Marouane Fellaini was the hero on Tuesday night as his 91st-minute strike saved United from potential embarrassment against Young Boys at a dower Old Trafford.

Now with two Premier League matches coming in five days for both teams, the season is starting to really ramp up.

Hamstring blows with Victor Lindelöf and Alexis Sánchez likely ruled out until the new year brings opportunities for fringe players to take advantage of the packed Christmas period.

Diogo Dalot is set to make his long-awaited Premier League debut following further injury problems.

A midweek clash against Arsenal will be on the agenda but the games come thick and fast in this special period of season, as United’s next away domestic trip to Anfield looms.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Victor Lindelöf – hamstring (four weeks)
  • Alexis Sánchez – hamstring (six weeks)

Expected lineup

(4-3-3) De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Matić, Fellaini, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Martial.

Key quote

“In December we can focus just on the Premier League. We need points. We want to improve our position in the table, we want to close the gap to the top four, we want to be smelling those positions.” – José Mourinho

Next match: Arsenal [H] 5/12/18

Potential key battles

– Charlie Austin vs Chris Smalling

– Mario Lemina vs Paul Pogba

– Wesley Hoedt vs Romelu Lukaku

Match facts [FotMob]

  • Southampton have not beaten United in seven home Premier League outings
  • United have only won four of their 10 encounters against Southampton since Sir Alex Ferguson retired
  • The Saints are without a win any of their six home games this season – their longest ever run from the opening of a campaign
  • The Red Devils have come behind eight times to claim this fixture; only Chelsea against Sunderland & United against Newcastle United have done of the same

Enjoy the match!

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