Manchester United have been playing the kind of football that the fans have been seeing in the Fergie-era. It is a welcome change after their dismal performances last season. In fact, the frustration among the fans had almost hit the saturation point. Thus, Jose Mourinho’s appointment was a blessing, and he has not given the fans any reason to doubt his capabilities in the Premier League so far. The Red Devils played well in the pre-season games, and continued to harness that momentum even in their first match against AFC Bournemouth. Old Trafford will eagerly await to see how things unfold between their team and Southampton.
Southampton, on the other hand, played a 1-1 draw against Watford at home, last weekend. This time, they will be travelling to Old Trafford to take on Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United squad. They will be looking to forget the draw against Watford, and the fact that they haven’t lost at Old Trafford since January 2013, can help them get motivated enough to continue that streak forward.
Whether Pogba will make his debut or not, still remains a mystery as Mourinho has not confirmed anything so far. Jesse Lingard is likely to return after missing the win over Bournemouth with a knock picked up in the Community Shield, while Chris Smalling is available again after suspension.
Southampton could welcome back Ryan Bertrand (knee) and the Reds are set to face three of their summer signings – Nathan Redmond, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Jeremy Pied.
• Southampton have not lost against Manchester United at Old Trafford since January 2013.
• Claude Puel – the current manager of Southampton – was in charge of Lille when Ryan Giggs scored a hotly-contested quick free-kick for United in a Champions League match, back in February 2007, after which the Frenchman appeared to urge his players to leave the pitch in protest.
• United have previously played 44 times on a Friday, including two games last season – the 1-0 league win away at Aston Villa and the 3-1 FA Cup victory at Derby County.
League Head to Head
23/01/2016 Premier League Manchester United 0 – 1 Southampton
20/09/2015 Premier League Southampton 2 – 3 Manchester United
11/01/2015 Premier League Manchester United 0 – 1 Southampton
08/12/2014 Premier League Southampton 1 – 2 Manchester United
11/05/2014 Premier League Southampton 1 – 1 Manchester United
19/10/2013 Premier League Manchester United 1 – 1 Southampton
Manchester United – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Manchester United’s have been playing good football off-late and the constant factor being their newly-acquired superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who has yet to concede a game since he joined. Like he has proven many times before, he brings a lot more to a team than just his name. Ibrahimović sealed the win against the Cherries as he scored at the 64th minute to make it a 3-0 game after midfielder Juan Mata and team captain Wayne Rooney each netted a goal at the 40th and 59th minute respectively.
Southampton – Nathan Redmond
Nathan Redmond and Ibrahimovic have something in common – they both scored on their Premier League debuts over the weekend. Redmond shone for the Saints as he bagged a well-taken goal from a corner to rescue a point against Watford, thereby resulting in the 1-1 draw. The speedy England Under-21 player joined from Norwich City for a fee roughly around £10million. Southampton also have two Euro 2016 winners in their ranks, in the shape of Portugal defenders Jose Fonte and Cedric Soares. Redmond, however, proved to be quite the asset as he prevented a loss at the hands of Watford.
This might just be the time when Manchester United break the jinx and win against Southampton at Old Trafford. What raises the stakes is the fact that this is their first game at home, and hundreds of Old Trafford faithful will be there witness their team in the Mourinho-era.
Manchester United are likely to win 2-1 against the Saints.