thumbnail Hello,

Premier League

  • 2 September 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 31609

Southampton - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils aiming for fifth-straight win at St Mary's

Southampton - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils aiming for fifth-straight win at St Mary's

Getty IMages

Nigel Adkins' side will be desperate to gain their first points of the Premier League season against Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who have lost three of their last four away games



Clyne, Hooiveld, Fonte, Fox
Davis, Schneiderlin, Lallana
Rodriguez, Lambert, Lee

De Gea
Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra
Cleverley, Carrick
Valencia, Kagawa, Nani
Van Persie

Southampton could well revert to the 4-3-3 system which served them so well against champions Manchester City on the opening day, with Championship Player of the Year Rickie Lambert expected to lead the line supported by Jay Rodriguez and Tadanari Lee out wide.

Guly Do Prado is expected to be left out of the squad following his off-the-field indiscretions, while new signing Maya Yoshida is unlikely to start, but could feature in the Saints squad. However, deadline day arrival Gaston Ramirez from Bologna was unable to be registered in time to participate.

Manchester United are expected to name the same side which beat Fulham 3-2 last Saturday. Jonny Evans made a full comeback in the reserves mid-week but is unlikely to be fit enough to return to first-team duties, meaning Michael Carrick will continue alongside Nemanja Vidic at centre-back.

With Wayne Rooney sidelined for the next month, Robin van Persie will almost certainly start at the head of a four-pronged forward line, with Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa forming the attacking fulcrum of the midfield.

  • Southampton boast an impressive recent home record in league football, winning 27 of their last 36 games across three divisions.
  • The Saints inflicted one of Manchester United's heaviest-ever Premier League defeats in October 1996, when an Egil Ostenstad hat-trick fired them to a 6-3 win.
  • Full-back Nathaniel Clyne (pictured right) was long linked with a move to Manchester United before ultimately signing for Nigel Adkins' side over the summer.
  • Southampton have won 38 per cent of matches at home against the Red Devils in the top flight. Only Chelsea and Arsenal boast better records.
  • Manchester United have lost three of their last four Premier League matches away from home. All four of those games have ended with a 1-0 scoreline.
  • The Red Devils have a superb recent record at St Mary's, however, winning on each of their last four visits.
  • Robin van Persie was sent off on his only appearance at the ground during Saints' 1-1 draw with Arsenal back in 2005.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson's side have allowed their opponents 13 shots at goal so this season - more than any other side in the top flight.

Players to watch

N. Clyne

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Young defender Clyne has made an impressive start to life in the Premier League this season following his summer switch from Crystal Palace. The England youth international has looked comfortable on the ball and confident going forward, whilst rarely shirking his defensive duties whenever this side have lost possession.

Sunday's match could well provide Clyne with the toughest test of his career to date against the likes of Valencia, Young and Nani, but with the home crowd behind him, he may well prove a thorn in the side of a manager who looked favourite to sign him just a couple of months ago.

R. van Persie

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Dutchman opened his United account in sumptuous style against Fulham last weekend, and given the injury to talisman Wayne Rooney, the Red Devils will be relying on the £24 million man to find the target over the next few weeks.

The Red Devils' away form has been poor of late - a fact compounded by their opening day defeat to Everton - and how the 29-year-old fares in front of goal will be crucial if the title-chasers are to end their dismal run. Given the Saints' less-than-watertight defence, Ferguson will hope his side can give Van Persie the chances he needs to add to his United tally.

Editor's Prediction

Southampton were left somewhat humbled by Wigan's clinical display during their first Premier League match at St Mary's this season, and a convincing League Cup win over Stevenage is unlikely to have been enough to leave even the most optimistic Saints fan expecting a good result on Sunday. Meanwhile, United bounced back from defeat to Everton with a convincing win over Fulham last week, and Ferguson will expect his side to continue that form on Sunday.

While an away win remains the likely outcome, Southampton's fearless approach at the Etihad Stadium two weeks ago was almost enough to earn a shock result, and if they replicate the same kind of display against a United side lacking confidence away from home, the hosts could perhaps spring an upset.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Manchester United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Southampton FC SOT
Southampton FC Southampton
Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United

Top 3 Predictions

Southampton FC SOT
0 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN
Southampton FC SOT
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN
Southampton FC SOT
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN