Match Preview: Saints vs Man Utd

By SFC Media time Fri 22 Sep Saints v Man United

Saints go in search of back-to-back wins in the Premier League as joint leaders Manchester United come to town...

THE MATCH

Southampton vs. Manchester United
Saturday 23 September, 15.00 BST
St.Mary’s Stadium
Premier League Gameweek 6 

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TEAM NEWS

Mauricio Pellegrino has just one new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s encounter and will make a late decision on whether Virgil van Dijk will be in contention. Matt Targett is set to miss out with an ankle problem while Charlie Austin's involvement is also doubtful.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Virgil Van Dijk during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on September 21, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Virgil van Dijk scored for Saints' U23 side during the week. (Matt Watson | Southampton FC)

Former Saints full-back Luke Shaw may feature in the United squad after getting 45 minutes of action against Burton in the Carabao Cup on his return from injury on Tuesday night while the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo all remain sidelined. 

Marcus Rashford was withdrawn with what appeared to be a slight knock against Burton Albion in midweek. Goalkeeper David de Gea was rested for that game and will surely be in line to regain his place at St.Mary's. 

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

An assured showing at Selhurst Park earned Saints a comfortable 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend, and will look to repeat the trick and register back-to-back victories for the first time when Manchester United come to town on Saturday afternoon.

In what will be the team’s last home fixture until the middle of October, success for the men in red and white at St.Mary’s could lift them to as high as third in the table.


LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Southampton’s Wesley Hoedt at the final whistle during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton at Selhurst Park on September 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints new boys Wesley Hoedt and Mario Lemina impressed in Saturday's win at Crystal Palace (Matt Watson | Southampton FC) 

United meanwhile head to the south coast looking to maintain a near-perfect record in the Premier League so far; the Red Devils have a share of the summit with Manchester City, after collecting 13 points from their opening five fixtures.

Jose Mourinho's Reds are in fine fettle. A 4-0 thrashing of Everton last weekend was quickly followed by a safe passage into the Carabao Cup last 16 at the expense of Burton with Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford (2) on the scoresheet in another four-goal show. 

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Southampton’s hereto solid rearguard will need to be at their very best to keep out a forward line that has scored more goals in the last 10 minutes of matches this term (9) than 17 Premier League sides have managed overall.

FORM GUIDE

Southampton’s previous five:

Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton
Southampton 0-2 Watford
Huddersfield 0-0 Southampton
Southampton 0-2 Wolves
Southampton 3-2 West Ham

Man United’s previous five:

Man Utd 4-0 Everton
Man Utd 3-0 FC Basel (UEFA Champions League)
Stoke 2-2 Man Utd
Man Utd 2-0 Leicester City
Swansea City 0-4 Man Utd

ONE TO WATCH

With five goals already this season, Romelu Lukaku has enjoyed a productive start to life at Old Trafford following a lucrative move from Everton in the summer.

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The big Belgian currently tops the Premier League scoring charts alongside City’s Sergio Aguero and will look to become the first United player since Louis Saha to find the net six times in his first six appearances for the club.

Concentration from start to finish will be the order of the day for Saints: curiously, 12 of Lukaku’s last 22 league strikes have come from the 80th minute onwards.

ALL-TIME RECORD

Played: 121
Southampton: 27
Draws: 31
Man United: 63


LAST FOUR MEETINGS

17.05.17 Saints 0-0 Man U
26.02.17 Man U 3-2 Saints (EFL Cup)
19.08.16 Man U 2-0 Saints
23.01.16 Man U 0-1 Saints

DID YOU KNOW?

Eight different players have found the net in the Premier League for Manchester United in their opening five games this season; more than any other side. At this stage last season, they only had four different goalscorers.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku have combined for three goals in the Premier League this season (providing assists for goals) – no other partnership has been as profitable in 2017-18 so far.


HOW TO FOLLOW

A sellout crowd will be roaring the Saints on this weekend but for those who can’t make it St.Mary’s, our online coverage will have you covered.

As ever, our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will supply all the build-up, as well as in-game updates and free live audio commentary.

Be sure to follow @SouthamptonFC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for behind-the-scenes access and further updates.

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