Gabbiadini to settle the score
Frank Monkhouse | 17 May 2017
We expect goals at St Mary’s
Southampton entertain Manchester United on Wednesday evening, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras. The home side face an opponent with not a lot to play for in the dying embers of this season, but the locals need the points to strengthen their push for a top-half finish.
The Saints can’t match last season’s sixth, but go into the week level on points with West Brom in eighth, while United, now unable to reach the top-four, will have one eye firmly on their upcoming Europa League final with Ajax.
United have an eye on Ajax
That glamour tie with the Dutch giants rates as game of the season for Jose Mourinhos’s side, and represents their only chance of gaining entry into next term’s Champions League. That aside, a look at the bare stats shows United go into this tie on the back of two defeats in-a-row, losing 2-0 to Arsenal on their penultimate start, before coming up short on an emotional afternoon vs Spurs at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
A 2-0 verdict over Burnley on April 23rd stands as the last match won by The Red Devils – a pair of draws with Man City and Swansea followed by those defeats the form. Their misfiring attack, which has let the club down so often this season, and was labelled ‘sloppy’ by The Special One recently, have managed just two goals in that four-game period.
Rooney going out with a bang
Wayne Rooney, who is expected to leave in the summer, has claimed each of those goals, and the record-breaking scorer has been chalked up as a 6/1 shot to net first again on Wednesday, while more reserved punters will get 21/10 in the anytime market.
Punters who like to keep the stats close when putting together their bets will be interested to know that each of the last five matches between these two at this venue has seen both teams score. That was also the case when the pair last met, in the final of the EFL Cup earlier this year. This one following that trend and seeing both teams score can be had at 4/5.
Gabbiadini targets revenge
Claude Puel’s midtable side have won just one of their last six, a run going back to early April. That victory did come last time out, beating relegated Middlesbrough at the Riverside, goals from Rodriguez and Redmond bettering a reply from Bamford.
Manolo Gabbiadini will go into this live fixture eager to settle an old score. The Italian hitman bagged a double at Wembley in that League Cup final, but should’ve got a hat-trick that day, seeing a goal ruled out which, on video evidence, looked perfectly legal.
Fancy a bit of revenge? You can get the 25-year-old, a £15 million buy from Napoli in January, at 15/8 with Coral to score anytime, or if you have more confidence in the attacker’s ability, the chunky 5/1 on first goal looks value.