Southampton v Manchester United Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
May 16, 2017
Wednesday 17 May – St Mary’s Stadium – Premier League
Southampton host Manchester United at St Mary’s on Wednesday night, in what might be described as a dead rubber in the Premier League run in. There are still things to play for though, despite Jose Mourinho admitting that the visitors would rather not play the game at all.
After eight Manchester United wins in a row at the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s career, the Reds have only won four of the subsequent eight games against Southampton since their legendary manger retired. The Saints have twice beaten United at Old Trafford in this time. New boss Mourinho has guided his team to victory on the two occasions the teams have met in league and cup this term though.
Aside from long term absentee Virgil van Dijk, Saints boss Claude Puel has no major injury worries. Manolo Gabbiadini should start up front for the hosts, after his double in the League Cup final was almost enough to win his club a major trophy.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see the team that Mourinho fields with the Europa League final just a week away. The United manager has indicated he’ll be playing the kids in these final league fixtures, but he may use the game at St Mary’s to keep players sharp for the European final. Paul Pogba could still be absent after the death of his father.
Southampton v Manchester United Preview and Predictions
On the face of it, there’s plenty to suggest this is a meaningless fixture. The Saints have mid-table security and respectability, with no chance of equalling their best ever Premier League finish. United meanwhile have both eyes firmly on the Europa League final in Stockholm. There are a few things for the hosts though that could give the game the spark it needs.
Firstly, vengeance will be on the minds of Southampton’s players after the League Cup defeat at Wembley. Then there’s the difference between finishing as high as eighth or as low as 11th. Plus, local pride is at stake. Finishing above south coast rivals Bournemouth should certainly be a motivation for the players. Perhaps these reasons contribute to the hosts starting as slight 17/10 favourites in the betting.
United’s lack of commitment to the game is also a factor. The Reds look set to record their worst-ever Premier League finish of sixth, but can salvage their season by winning Europe’s secondary cup competition. As with Sunday’s defeat at Tottenham, United’s remaining domestic games are all about not picking up any fresh injuries. The visitors start at 19/10 for this one, while the draw’s available at 12/5.
Southampton/Southampton half time/full time at 18/5
There’s not much chance of United going gung-ho for the win if they find themselves a goal down early. Increase your odds on a home win by predicting the Saints will take an early lead and hold on to it.
Gabbiadini to score with a header at 20/1
Improve the price on a Gabbiadini goal by betting on the Italian scoring with his head. The United backline has been anything but settled, which doesn’t create good consistency for defending crosses and set pieces.