Saturday 31 August: 12.30pm KO
Live on BT Sport
After winning their opening league game of the season, Manchester United have earned just one point from the next two. They are already five points behind leaders Liverpool and won’t want that gap to widen much further at this early stage of the season. They travel to Southampton who lost their first two league matches but then won at Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend but remain in the relegation zone.
Hopes were high at Old Trafford after they started the new season with a 4-0 home win over Chelsea. Dreams of winning the Premier League weren’t too common among their fans but a return to the top four was. If you share that dream, a bet on United finishing in the Champions League places has odds of 11/8 (2.37) if visiting Betway.
Since then though it hasn’t gone quite so well for the Reds. They followed that win over Chelsea with a draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers. They took the lead and all was going well until Wolves equalized. Then came the penalty and the start of the latest problem for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to try and solve. That’s on top of how do we replace Lukaku and the now on-loan Sanchez.
Paul Pogba took the penalty, rather than Marcus Rashford who had converted successfully against Chelsea. Pogba missed and the game ended in a draw. United would have been confident of earning three points at home against Crystal Palace. The visitors hadn’t even scored a league goal or won a Premier League game at Old Trafford. Shock and horror (and coupon buster), United lost 2-1 leaving United in fifth place in the table.
Another penalty was awarded (for the third game in a row) and it must have been Rashford’s turn. Lo and behold, he missed from the spot costing United more points. You can get odds of 9/2 (5.5) at Betfair on United actually scoring a penalty against Southampton. It’s 16/1 (17.0) at Bet365 on United missing one in this game.
Southampton have again had a difficult start to the season. They lost their opening league game 3-0 at Burnley and then followed that up with a 2-1 home defeat by Liverpool. Finally, they got themselves off the mark in last weekend’s south coast derby.
The Saints beat Brighton 2-0 but despite the first win of the league season, they are still 18th in the table. It’s a tight division at present and a win in this game would take them up into the Champions League places for a few hours, probably the highest they’d be all season. The odds on them beating United are 3/1 (4.0) if placing your bet with Paddy Power. They have only won one of their last five home league games though.
Southampton have gone seven games without a win against Manchester United. Last season, they drew 2-2 at home with United after leading 2-0. Three of the last five meetings between these clubs have ended all-square. The odds of that happening on Saturday are 9/4 (3.25) at 888sport.
Anthony Martial may miss this game due to a thigh injury. That could mean a start for Mason Greenwood..
Clean Sheet for Southampton?
Southampton don’t have a great record of keeping home clean sheets. They have just one in the last 15 home Premier League games. That was against soon-to-be-relegated Fulham. The odds on a clean sheet in this match are 16/5 (4.2) at William Hill.
Southampton haven’t made the best of starts this season but the past week has been more promising. They won at Brighton and then at Fulham in the Carabao Cup. This is a bit tougher and the visitors will be wanting to get back into winning ways. Successfully converting a penalty would put a smile on their face too. A bet on Manchester United to win this match has odds of 21/20 (2.05) at Betfred.