2021-22 Premier League: Week Two – Southampton vs Manchester United

Southampton welcome Manchester United to St Mary’s Stadium in this weekend’s first Super Sunday match. 

Victory would see Southampton stay out of the relegation zone, whereas Man Utd are looking to retain their lead at the summit with a win.

 

Team News

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Southampton have no fresh injury concerns to report as Sam McQueen and Will Smallbone remain absent with knee injuries.

Man Utd manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hand Raphael Varane his debut after spending this week adapting to his new environment, having been presented to the home crowd in Utd’s 5-1 win over Leeds last weekend at Old Trafford.

Edinson Cavani and Eric Bailly (both fitness) could be in contention but Dean Henderson (fitness), Phil Jones (knee), Alex Telles (ankle) and Marcus Rashford (shoulder) remain ruled out.

 

Stat Attack

  • Southampton are winless in their last ten league meetings against Manchester United (D5, L5).
  • Man Utd are unbeaten in their last 10 league trips to Southampton (W6, D4), with two of the four draws finishing in a 1-1 result.
  • Five of Man Utd’s 11 goals against Southampton last season were scored by the combination of Bruno Fernandes (2) and Edinson Cavani (3).
  • Southampton are winless in their last nine opening home matches to a new season since returning to the Premier League in 2012-13 season (D5, L4).
  • Man Utd are unbeaten in four of their last five opening away matches in a new Premier League season (W3, D1, L1).

 

Prediction

Having enjoyed a strong first half at Everton in which they applied a strong pressing game which paid off through a clinical finish to punish a Michael Keane error, Southampton will be disappointed to have lost 3-1 but their poor man-marking ability proved costly in the second half so improvement is needed here.

Man Utd meanwhile already look unstoppable following a summer of investment because they were just so dominant with high confidence from every player on the pitch, with Bruno Fernandes a particular stand out because he was alert to overlap Mason Greenwood to deliver a clinical hat-trick.

Now if United turn up and deliver another sharp performance and Jadon Sancho makes his first start then it is difficult to see Southampton stopping them, especially with their man-marking issues and poor opening home match of season record.

Prediction: Southampton 1-3 Manchester United

Result: Southampton 1-1 Manchester United

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