St Mary's hosts its first Premier League action of the season when Manchester United visit on Sunday. Get set for the showdown with our Match Pack...
Southampton vs Manchester United
St Mary’s Stadium
Sunday 22nd August, 2pm BST
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West
Fourth official: Jarred Gillett
VAR: Andre Marriner
Assistant VAR: Lee Betts
Sunday’s clash will be shown live on Sky Sports for subscription holders, on Sky Sports Main Event (401) and Sky Sports Premier League (402).
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
With fans returning to St Mary’s for competitive action for the first time in eight months, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side will be determined to welcome them back in style.
Having drawn two of the last three home encounters with the Red Devils, the hosts will want to go one better this time around – a victory was seemingly on the cards last season when James Ward-Prowse and Jan Bednarek created a 2-0 lead, only for a dramatic comeback to see the visitors leave with all three points.
A year on, the two sides come into Sunday’s meeting on the back of contrasting opening days. Whilst Southampton stumbled to defeat at Everton, United produced an emphatic 5-1 win over Leeds, meaning the hosts are looking to get off the mark whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side are looking to build early momentum.
Saints have no new injury concerns ahead of the weekend, with Will Smallbone and Sam McQueen the only continued absentees.
For the visitors, Raphael Varane will have his fitness assessed ahead of a potential debut after his move from Real Madrid, whilst Edinson Cavani is in contention once again after completing self-isolation protocols.
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "They're a good side, like always when you play against one of the top six teams, but Man United especially.
"They have a fantastic away record, so quite a tough challenge in the first home game, and we have to have a very, very good game, and even then it's tough to win, but we believe in what we are doing and we believe that we have a chance."
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: "We have the best away fans in the world, but we can only hear them if we play well and start well. "You want to silence the home crowd - I know that isn’t going to happen when it's the first home game at St Mary's in 18 months, so that’s not going to happen, it's going to be loud, but that’s up to us to play the football to do that."
ONES TO WATCH
Adam Armstrong: Saints’ summer signing got off to the perfect start at Goodison Park, netting a stunning strike just 22 minutes into his debut.
Causing havoc with his pace and shoot-on-sight policy, Armstrong will be looking to mark his home debut in similar fashion.
The Frenchman became the first Manchester United player to register four assists in a single Premier League game against Leeds last weekend.
Registering just three assists in the whole of last season, Pogba has carried on his impressive form for France at EURO 2020 in the early stages of 2021/22.
Adam Armstrong 1
Ché Adams 1
Bruno Fernandes 3
Fred, Greenwood 1
Paul Pogba 4
Victor Lindelöf 1
Man United: 67
February 2021: Man United 9-0 Saints
November 2020: Saints 2-3 Man United (Bednarek, Ward-Prowse)
July 2020: Man United 2-2 Saints (S. Armstrong, Obafemi)
August 2019: Saints 1-1 Man United (Vestergaard)
March 2019: Manu United 3-2 Saints (Valery, Ward-Prowse)
- After scoring in his first Premier League game for Southampton, Adam Armstrong will be looking to become the third player to score in his first two games for the Saints in the competition, after Manolo Gabbiadini in 2017 and Henri Camara in 2005.
- Che Adams has been directly involved in four goals in his last four Premier League games for Southampton (two goals, two assists), as many direct goal involvements as he recorded in his previous 21 appearances.
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