STAR PREVIEW: Southampton v Man U

This weekend is full of Derbies – tomorrow Chelsea play Fulham, followed by the North London and Merseyside Derbies – and at St Mary’s there’s another Derby, that of the under-fire managers.

Jose Mourinho has taken much of the attention when it comes to managerial difficulties but at the wrong end of the Premier League table Mark Hughes is facing the door. He has not managed to get anything out of his Southampton side, with the Saints being one of just two sides without a home win this season.

In front of their own fans, they’ve scored just four goals in six games and only goal difference keeps them above Cardiff and Fulham, who beat the Saints 3-2 last Saturday. That was a rare occasion when Stuart Armstrong’s double meant they’d scored more than a single goal but Fulham have the worst defence in the league and United will provide a very different task.

The Red Devils were about 90 seconds away from disaster against Young Boys before Marouane Fellaini’s injury-time winner sent his side into the last 16 of the Champions League, but they had dominated the game and anything less than three points would have been unfair. United’s expected goals tally was 1.5 to just 0.6 for Young Boys according to the statistician Michael Caley and victory would have been more straightforward had Rashford not slipped in front of goal and Fellaini blasted over from point-blank range.

A 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace last weekend was an uninspiring display but it’s important to remember that United’s performances have been improving recently; Before their defeat at Manchester City, they’d won 2-1 at Juventus and Bournemouth, coming within seconds of taking a 2-1 win at Chelsea to boot.

Southampton v Man Utd
Premier League
17:30 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches*)
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 0-0 Southampton
SEP 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 0-1 Manchester United
MAY 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 0-0 Manchester United
FEB 2017 EFL CUP Manchester United 3-2 Southampton
AUG 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 2-0 Southampton
JAN 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 0-1 Southampton
SEP 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
JAN 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 0-1 Southampton
DEC 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 1-2 Manchester United
MAY 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Southampton 1-1 Manchester United

Four of Man Utd’s last five Premier League away goals have been scored by Anthony Martial and the Frenchman’s pace and clinical finishing have been a bright spot in what has sometimes been a bleak landscape. United would much prefer to be closer to City than 14 points but they’re 13 points ahead of Southampton and they should be good enough to take three points here.

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