Who: Manchester United vs Southampton
When: Monday, July 13th @ 3:00pm ET
Line: Man U -375 | Draw +600 | Southampton +1050
Manchester United have won their last four Premier League games in dominant fashion, ushering their best run in the league all season long. Having a fully fit squad helps, so does all the players performing at their best. Bruno Fernandes’ introduction seems to have lit the spark they lacked for the first half of the season.
Now in the final stretch, the Red Devils look firm favourites for a top-4 finish. They’re only a point behind Leicester City, who have difficult games ahead & have high chances of dropping points.
On paper United’s games may look ‘winnable’ but Southampton would love to spoil their party. The Saints recently defeated Man City and have enough attacking firepower to upset the odds. United won’t have things easy like the last few games & must up the ante to take a big step forward into guaranteeing a Champions League spot next season.
Manchester United Predicted XI
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford, Martial
There is no way Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will change a team that has won their last 4 games with a margin of 3 goals or more. Axel Tuanzebe & Phil Jones are still on the treatment table and unlikely to feature this season.
Southampton Predicted XI
McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond, Long, Ings
Southampton have a few injuries issues, with Jannick Vestergaard, Yan Valery, Moussa Djenepo & Sofiane Boufal all doubtful for the game against United.
Manchester United vs Southampton Preview
United have been operating at a whole new level since the season restart, averaging 3 goals a game in the league. They’re now able to successfully break down deep backlines something they horribly failed at earlier this season, causing so many easy points to be dropped.
But the miseries now seem a distant dream as Solskjaer is determined at getting a top-3 finish. In his words, it’s a simple equation for United. Win every game & you will at least get a top-4 finish. But achieving that in the exhausting schedule isn’t the easiest either.
The Red Devils have been dominant at Old Trafford after the return, despite the lack of fans. They seem to have hit a beautiful stride, pummeling opponents with their relentless attacking intensity. Ole will hope that his front-four can wreak havoc with their intuitive chemistry.
Bruno already looks like the club’s best signing since Robin van Persie. He’s definitely the most impactful signing they’ve made in this era, with more than 10 goal involvements in the league in a few months of action. The consecutive PL Player of the Month award winner is having the same kind of effect Mo Salah had in his early Liverpool days, forcing his side forward and creating his own magic in attack.
Thanks to Bruno’s demanding attitude, everyone else seems to have improved as well. Paul Pogba is delighted to be at a place he wanted to leave last summer. He’s bubbling with positive energy, working hard & creating chances with his wonderful ability on the ball.
Marcus Rashford is now operating in a more creative role, trying to create more chances. But he’ll look to get on the scoresheet by making those penetrative runs to outfox the defenders. Anthony Martial seems to evolving into a more traditional no.9, as he’ll want to continue his good work outmuscling defenders and getting into more goal-scoring areas.
Mason Greenwood is the latest generational talent to have come out of the academy. His confidence in front of goal is just absurd. He’ll look to score for the 4th consecutive game by tormenting Southampton defenders with his unpredictability of scoring effectively with either feet.
But United must pull something special out of their box to break down Southampton. They recently shutout Man City in their surprise win. The Saints have only lost one game since the season restart & look determined for a strong end-of-season finish.
Like Solskjaer, Ralph Hasenhuttl has also transformed Southampton’s fortunes after an early season breakdown. Who thought he’d even be in the job after losing 0-9 to Leicester? But using his resources, the manager has turned Southampton into a well-oiled, dangerous outlet that can outwit any PL side.
With an in-form striker like Danny Ings, they’ll take their chances at Old Trafford. The former Liverpool man is scoring from everywhere right now. He also has a lot of backup behind him. Nathan Redmond gives the Eden Hazard vibes with his movement & trickery, while James Ward-Prowse is their ace-in-the-hole. Even Ryan Bertrand & Scott Armstrong are clever players who can penetrate through spaces to cause problems.
Harry Maguire, in particular, struggles against pace & must set up his defence strongly to deny the Saints a chance to expose his vulnerability. Victor Lindelof’s been a brilliant cover for him in recent weeks, while Luke Shaw & Aaron Wan-Bissaka both must bring their A-game to keep the visitors quiet.
This won’t be an easy game but United are fearless right now. They have all the confidence in the world & as long as they can maintain that unstoppable swagger, Southampton shouldn’t be the one to break their unbeaten run.
This should be an exciting, end-to-end encounter and Southampton will cause United problems like no other in recent weeks. But knowing their peak momentum & fiery attack, United should pull off a compelling 3-1 win.