Manchester United v Southampton Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

December 28, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Old Trafford - Premier League

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be desperate to get back to winning ways on Saturday, as Southampton are the visitors to Old Trafford. The Reds drew both their games either side of Christmas Day, and are without a win in three after their League Cup defeat against Bristol City.

Past Meetings

An early strike from Romelu Lukaku was enough to give United a 1-0 win at St Mary’s earlier this season, stretching their unbeaten run against Southampton to four after the Saints recorded a shock 1-0 victory of their own at Old Trafford in January of last year. A Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace handed United the points in this fixture last season, while the Swede was also the match winner in February’s League Cup final.

Team News

After United’s dismal first half performance against Burnley on Boxing Day, it’s doubtful Ibrahimovic will get another start in this one as Mourinho persists with Lukaku up top. Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all miss out for the Reds, although Anthony Martial and Matteo Darmian could be available for selection.

For the visitors, there’s a small chance that Ryan Bertrand could be back, although it’s doubtful he’ll be thrown straight back into the starting lineup at Old Trafford. Cedric Soares misses out with an ankle injury, while last year’s match winner Charlie Austin is suspended and will be a big miss for the Saints.

Manchester United v Southampton Preview and Predictions

Before the Manchester derby just a couple of months ago, United were looking up and trying to close the gap on their crosstown rivals to just five points. Now Mourinho’s men are a massive 15 points behind Manchester City, and have Chelsea breathing down their necks for second place in the table.

December could hardly have gone much worse for United, despite the excellent start in beating Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates and securing their safe passage into the Champions League knockouts as group winners. The defeat against City has been followed up by losing out on the chance of silverware against Bristol and two hugely disappointing festive draws.

Now as the Reds look back over their shoulders, they’ll see teams like Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal looming large, as well as Antonio Conte’s reigning champions. Southampton will be nervously checking the league table too, as they’re now just two points above the relegation zone. They go to Old Trafford without their in-form striker Austin, and with the pressure building on Mauricio Pellegrino. The Saints boss will be hoping that he’s given the money from the Virgil van Dijk sale to bolster his squad in the January window, otherwise they could be in serious trouble.

Manchester United start this game as 2/5 favourites in the betting, which is relatively generous considering their impressive form at Old Trafford before this month. Southampton are priced at 9/1, while the draw’s 9/2.

Recommended Bets

Manchester United to win and both teams to score at 12/5

Southampton average exactly a goal a game so far this season, while United keep suffering injuries to their defenders leaving Mourinho unable to name a settled backline.

Lukaku to score and United to win at 5/4

United haven’t failed to score in the Premier League at Old Trafford so far this season, and despite recent criticism Lukaku is still the club’s top scorer and Mourinho’s main man.

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