Southampton host Manchester United this Saturday in what will be an important match for both teams. Manchester United are coming back after some sort a goal-crisis week, where they managed to find the back of the net only once. Crystal Palace and Switzerland’s Young Boys don’t seem to be very tough opponents either; scoring only once combined at home doesn’t seem like a good picture.
Southampton on the other hand seem to be in a self-generated crisis. They have won only once in the last 16 games at St. Mary’s Stadium, and have failed to beat Manchester United in the last 7 games here (4L, 3D).They finally scored an away goal without the involvement of Danny Ings but are still the third lowest goal-scoring team.
With the festive period coming up, this certainly is an important game for both teams. Here’s the latest scoop on team and injury news.
José Mourinho‘s third season in-charge seem to be controversial both on and off the field. This year the most notable controversy was the feud with World Cup winner Paul Pogba. Nevertheless, Pogba still remained an integral part of the team. When he was injured in a match against Manchester City, his absence was poignant. The Frenchman has since returned from his injury, but is still not back to form. An opponent like Southampton could be the perfect rival here.
Another notable absence from the United team is Victor Lindelöf, who cramped off in the last Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Mourinho, after the game, said that he would be out for a very long time and was unsure of his return date.
Similarly, Marcus Rojo, who spent a majority of the season on the sidelines, will continue to do so for this match as well. New signing Diogo Dalot also has been out since October, along with club captain Antonio Valencia. The return dates of these players are yet to specified. This makes the United back line seem a little depleted. The midfield and the attackers are good enough, but currently lack form.
Southampton finally seem to have solved Ings’ scoring dilemma by netting their first away goal without the presence of their main man. They will have to continue this streak as the star is still unsure about the next match, limiting to only a substitute appearance.
Shane Long is another notable absentee from the Saints team; his pace would have been useful in breaking down a depleted United defense.
Both teams are currently not in full strength: United’s defense has leaked 21 goals in just 13 games, bagging the worst defensive record in the Big Six. Southampton have struggled to score goals all season. With United’s front line also misfiring, not a lot of goals are expected from the match.