Southampton seeking to regain momentum against Man Utd
Manchester United, 17/10 to triumph with Coral, travel to take on Southampton at St Mary’s. For a rampant Red Devils side roused by four wins in a row, this tricky away test does not look as troublesome as it might have a few weeks ago.
United have lost at St Mary’s just once in their last seven visits across all competitions, and are undefeated against them in 11, so benefit from Coral’s brilliant matchday special and back Louis van Gaal’s men at 9/2 to win and both teams to score (maximum stake £20).
Whilst the Red Devils are undoubtedly the in-form team, with Ronald Koeman’s men stumbling to two losses on the trot, recent results do not paint the whole picture.
Saints and United both came up against Arsenal in November, with the Red Devils’ lucky win sparking a fine run of form, while Southampton’s harsh defeat seems to have caused a subsequent wobble.
The hosts have shown they can go toe-to-toe with any team this term, However, and van Gaal will not be taking them lightly.
United’s woeful away form will certainly hearten Koeman, who can steer his impressive side back on track in this encounter.
The visitors have racked up just one win on their travels so far this season, making Saints a great value 17/10 to expose their homesickness and take all three points.
Robin van Persie may have something to say about that though. The Dutchman has four in his last four outings against Southampton and, after finding form of late, is 9/2 to fire home first, or 6/5 to strike anytime.
Partner in crime and skipper Wayne Rooney has shaken off a knee niggle and is expected to start, with his status as United’s top scorer making him 9/2 to net last, or 6/1 to bag a brace or better.
In Angel Di Maria’s absence, another name on Van Gaal’s lengthy injury list, an attacking spot is up for grabs. Juan Mata has been creator-in-chief of late, but Van Gaal may want to harness the electric pace of academy product James Wilson instead.
Rapid Wilson is 7/4 to score in the anytime market, after being given chances to impress over Radamel Falcao (9/2 to close the scoring), who is still regaining match sharpness.
Koeman also has injury concerns for his Saints squad, with their lack of depth a contributing factor to their recent poor run. Toby Alderweireld is the latest to turn to the treatment table with a suspected hamstring problem making him a doubt.
Southampton, who still have the best defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded just 10 times, will instead pin their hopes on attack.
Top scorer Graziano Pelle, who has six league goals so far this season, has not been on target in his past five games and will be looking to remedy that against the Red Devils.
The Italy-capped attacker is 7/4 to score anytime, whilst fellow forward Shane Long is 2/1 in the same market.
With both teams looking to cement their top four credentials, and a supposedly frosty relationship between compatriots Koeman and Van Gaal, fans should expect a fine showing.