After dropping two more crucial points away to Burnley, Manchester United look to get their faltering push for a top-four berth back on track against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s in-form Southampton.
For all the talk of VAR controversies, Manchester United need to do a better job of taking their chances:
Against Middlesborough in the cup, the Red Devils spurned countless opportunities to put the game to bed before Middlesborough controversially equalized and later won on penalties.
The trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley was a similar story for Ralf Rangnick’s side: United had two goals ruled out by VAR, failed to kill the game off, and ended up dropping more points against bottom-of-the-league opposition.
United have a top record vs Southampton in the EPL. But the Saints have been marching in of late, so expect a close contest at Old Trafford in what must now surely be a must-win game for struggling Man U.
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Manchester United vs Southampton preview
Southampton travel to Old Trafford on the back of a good stretch of form that’s seen them clamber up to 12th place in the Premier League table.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side has won two, drawn two, and lost just once in its last five EPL fixtures, including a big win against West Ham away from home and ties with EPL frontrunner, Manchester City, and top-four candidate, Tottenham Hotspur.
The Saints took a break from league action last weekend to dispose of Coventry City, 2-1, in the FA Cup, too, so confidence among the squad is likely to be high.
Confidence will need to be high, too, since, in the corresponding fixture from last season, Hasenhuttl’s men were turned over in a humiliating 9-0 thrashing at Old Trafford.
The chances of that happening again are slim given United’s poor chance conversion rate of late. But, you do get the feeling that the goals will come for the Red Devils at some point – Rangnick’s team is creating chances again at least.
Still, the recent form shown by United leaves a little to be desired.
The win/loss record looks decent enough. United have only lost once in the league since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign came to an end (0-1 vs Wolves). But, disappointing draws against the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle, and now Burnley could prove costly in the race for top four. Especially since United’s upcoming March fixture list includes the likes of Man City, Liverpool, and Spurs.
All things considered, however, United look much more creative with Paul Pogba back in the mix in central midfield. And, it’s surely only a matter of time before 8-goal Portuguese striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, rediscovers his Midas touch…
United are also unbeaten in five home games against the Saints. So, we’re backing the home side to have picked up a crucial three points on their home patch come Saturday evening.
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When does Manchester United vs Southampton kick-off?
The EPL clash between Manchester United & Southampton kicks off at 12:30 GMT on Saturday, February 12 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Manchester United vs Southampton team news
Manchester United team news vs Southampton
The one plus of United’s draw to Burnley is that the players made it through the contest without sustaining any injuries.
As such, expect to see Ralf Rangnick shuffle the pack slightly just to refresh things. Alex Telles could return to the starting Xl in place of Luke Shaw, whose recent run of poor form continued on Tuesday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also likely to return to the starting lineup after being rested vs Burnley. The Portuguese superstar is likely to return to first-team duties in place of Uruguayan forward, Edison Cavani.
Manchester United possible starting XI:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Pogba, Bruno; Sancho, Elanga, Ronaldo
Southampton team news vs Manchester United
Southampton defender Lyanco is expected to miss a substantial stretch of games after injuring his thigh vs Coventry. Armando Broja (knee) is also a slight concern.
Nathan Tella and Alex McCarthy will also miss out on the trip to Old Trafford.
Southampton possible starting XI:
Forster; Salisu, Bednarek, Stephens; Livramento, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Walker-Peters; Redmond, Adams, A. Armstrong