Southampton vs Manchester United: Preview and Prediction￼
After registering their first win in the 2022-23 season of Premier League, Manchester United will travel to St Mary’s Stadium to square off against Southampton on Saturday.
Interestingly, the Saints too bagged their first three points in their last fixture after staying winless from the first two matches.
Manchester United occupies the 14th position in the points table with just one victory from three matches. Although they gained the upper hand over their arch-rivals, Liverpool, they lost both the encounters against Brighton and Brentford to kickstart their Premier League campaign on a sour note.
Southampton sits three places above them in the points table with four points from three matches. However, they have got little time to regroup themselves as they thrashed League One side Cambridge United on Wednesday 3-0 in EFL Cup and have only three days to prepare for the contest.
Southampton was two goals down at the hour mark of their contest against Leeds but Joe Aribo and Kyle Walker-Peters netted two goals in quick succession to share the spoils in a 2-2 contest. The Saints were one goal behind against Leicester after a goalless first-half substitute Che Adams struck twice within a span of 20 minutes to beat the Foxes by a margin of 2-1.
In a lopsided contest against Cambridge, Adams was handed a start and he scored a brace before being taken off. Dom Ballard sprinkled salt on their opponents’ wounds by finding the net in the 88th minute to win the tie 3-0.
Manchester United suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss to Brentford in their opening day fixture of the 2022-23 Premier League, with the Bees hammering all four goals inside the first thirty-five minutes of play.
The Red Devils’ propensity to drop their level of concentration in the first half continued as they let in two goals against Brighton. An own goal gave Manchester United a glimmer of hope but they were unable to make the most of it as they lost 2-1.
Erik Ten Hag finally managed to stitch a formidable side in their next encounter as they beat Liverpool 2-1. Jadon Sancho converted Anthony Elanga’s low cross in the 16th minute with a smart dummy to give United the lead.
Anthony Martial initiated a counter-attack from his own half and Marcus Rashford completed the move to double Manchester United’s lead in the 53rd minute. Mohammad Salah found himself on the scoresheet in the 81st minute but Liverpool was unable to stage a comeback.
Head to Head Record
Southampton and Manchester United have squared off against each other a total of 131 times in the past, with the latter gaining the upper hand a total of 67 times. The Saints won only 28 times while 36 encounters between them ended in a draw.
Southampton has been unable to beat Manchester United in their last thirteen fixtures, with their last win coming all the way back in January 2016. Both the Premier League matches last season ended in a 1-1 draw.
At St Mary’s Stadium, Mason Greenwood equalised the proceedings for Manchester United after Fred scored an own goal in the first half. Jadon Sancho gave the home side the lead before Che Adams levelled the scoreline at Old Trafford.
Southampton’s midweek fixture allowed Ralph Hassenhuttl to test some of his bench players and considering the form Che Adams is in, he should be rewarded with a place in the starting eleven. The young Sekou Mara could drop down to the bench.
Casemiro has been finally granted the work permit and Manchester United unveiled him at Old Trafford on Monday. The Brazilian’s arrival means Scott McTominay may find himself on the bench.
Anthony Martial has also returned to full fitness, so he can start the game as a striker with Marcus Rashford dropping to the wings. That would unfortunately result in Anthony Elanga finding his name on the substitutes list.
Predicted Starting XIs
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Gavin Bazunu; Kyle Walker-Peters, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Mohammed Salisu, Moussa Djenepo; James Ward-Prowse, Romeo Lavia; Joe Aribo, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Adam Armstrong; Che Adams.
Manchester United (4-3-3): David De Gea; Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes; Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.
Both the clubs have had a mixed start to their Premier League campaign and require a win to progress to the top half of the table. Che Adams’ sublime form should allow Southampton to nick a goal while Casemiro’s much-awaited debut should add further spark to Manchester’s midfield. We predict the game to end in a 1-1 draw.