Southampton vs Manchester United: Manchester United have to deliver. The 20-time champions after 13 games are 7th on the table, 14 points behind league leaders Manchester City. Jose Mourinho’s under extreme scrutiny. After a 2-1 win over Juventus in Turin, a 3-1 humbling at Etihad and a goalless draw against Crystal Palace has put the Portuguese coach in a tight space. They make a trip to St. Mary’s Stadium for game week 14 and are in dire need of a win. The positive for them though was their Champions League win against Young Boys. A 90th-minute winner by Marouane Fellaini meant a confirmed spot in the final 16. However, United, even for a minuscule second cannot get complacent. Albeit they face a struggling Southampton.
The Saints are in tatters at the moment. They’re placed 19th on the table, earning only 8 points so far. The most shocking number – they’ve won only one game out of 13. Their most recent defeat was a 6-5 loss to Leicester on penalties in the EFL Cup. Where do Southampton go from here? They surely have the quality to feature in the top half of the table, but the rub of the green doesn’t seem to favour them one bit. And the upcoming fixtures only worsen their chances to earn points.
Their last win against the Reds at home was a 1-0 victory in August 2003.
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
Kick-Off: 11:00 pm, IST
Danny Ings, Shane Long and Ryan Bertrand are the injury concerns for Mark Hughes. The trio is an integral part of Southampton’s set up and their conditions will be assessed before kick-off.
For United, Alexis Sanchez is expected to remain out for 6 weeks. Sanchez suffered a hamstring injury in training and will be out along with teammates Marcos Rojo & Victor Lindelof. Diogo Dalot will be available for selection.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Alex McCarthy(gk), Cedric Soares, Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt, Matt Targett, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Mario Lemina, Manolo Gabbiadini, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond, Charlie Austin
David de Gea(gk), Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Stuart Armstrong scored twice for Southampton last weekend against Fulham. The Scotish winger looked comfortable with the ball and with Manolo Gabbiadini and Charlie Austin up front, he can also turn provider. Southampton have scored only 10 goals this season and have conceded 24. The negative goal difference is one area Mark Hughes would like to improve on. The Saints have enough quality to crawl back with 2/3rd of the season still left.
Premier League 2018/19 – Matches: 9, Goals: 2, Shooting accuracy: 83%
Anthony Martial has been United’s best player this season and the stats are a clear indication. United have a -1 goal difference. One area you don’t associate with United to hit the negative quadrant. Martial has scored almost 1/3rd of United’s goal. Shows how poor they’ve been offensively. Martial can dribble past defenders with ease and his nifty footwork, more often than not, creates plenty of goal-scoring opportunities. He’ll be one Red, the Saints will have a close eye on.
Premier League 2018/19 – Matches: 10, Goals: 6
FANFIGHT FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAMS FOR SOUTHAMPTON vs MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United have hit an all-time low. But the likes of Pogba & Martial, who are proven match winners can demolish opponents with a sudden moment of brilliance. They’ve managed to win games coming from behind but they’ll have put the foot down and defend with aplomb. David de Gea like always has been as solid as a rock. To go through him will take a special effort & with the current sorry run of form, Southampton have a gigantic task ahead. For Southampton vs Manchester United, Game Week 14, it’s advantage United.
Southampton have not won a home game this season. They played 6, lost 2 and have drawn 4.
Since Mourinho’s managerial reign, United have drawn 10 games with the scoreline reading 0-0. Only Southampton have drawn more games(15) with the same score.
Romelu Lukaku has scored 4 goals at the St. Mary’s. Only Olivier Giroud & Robin Van Persie have more goals(5).
Martial has scored 4 of United’s 5 away goals this season. Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have scored 5 away goals each.
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