Southampton - Manchester United Betting Preview: Expect United's ruthless streak to shine through once again

After picking up their first win of the season, Alex Ferguson's men will be hoping to kick on. Al Hain-Cole expects them to show no mercy against the league's new boys
After suffering a shock setback with an opening-day defeat away to Everton, Manchester United got their title bid underway with a hard-fought victory over Fulham last Saturday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side will now look to build momentum as they travel to newly-promoted Southampton.

The Premier League's most successful club are favourites at 4/7 (1.57) with Bet365 to pick up all three points at St. Mary's, just as Wigan managed last time out.

The Saints gained a lot of plaudits after pushing Manchester City all the way on their return to the Premier League, but the recent home defeat sent them back down to earth with a bang, and they will be anxious to start picking up some points.

They will have a hard time doing so on Sunday, however, when they are 5/1 (6.00) outsiders to come out on top against their prestigious opponents.

Nigel Adkins would surely be more than happy with a draw, but even that looks unlikely at 3/1 (4.00).

One strength that Manchester United have built their Premier League dominance on over the years is a ruthless streak against lesser sides, particularly the newly-promoted teams.

The Old Trafford outfit completed a comfortable clean sweep against the Swansea, QPR and Norwich last season, winning all six fixtures without too much difficulty.

Sir Alex's boys should be relied upon to demonstrate this trait once again against Southampton, and must be backed to win after leading at half-time.

This bet would have paid off in five of the six matches against the top-flight new boys last season, and is available here at odds of 13/10 (2.30).

With Wayne Rooney's injury keeping him out for at least a month, the pressure is on new signing Robin van Persie to take over from the former Everton striker as United's leading man.

Fortunately for the Red Devils, the Dutchman's exquisite strike in the last game shows that he is more than ready to pick up where he left off at Arsenal last season.

With the service of fellow new boy Shinji Kagawa to feed off, Van Persie should have no trouble reaching his clinical best, and is certainly worth backing to open the scoring on Sunday.

At odds of 4/1 (5.00), last season's Premier League top-scorer is surely too good to miss.

Man Utd HT/FT at 13/10 (2.30) with Bet365
Van Persie to score first at 4/1 (5.00) with Bet365

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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