United can put daylight between themselves and the Saints
Few would argue that Southampton were hard done by when Manchester United won 2-1 at St Mary’s a month ago.
A couple of opportunist goals from Robin van Persie earned his side the points after the Saints had largely dominated possession.
But Ronald Koeman’s team may struggle to take revenge at Old Trafford with United looking a solid bet at 4/5 to complete the double given Southampton have failed to avoid defeat at Burnley and Sheffield United in recent weeks.
United are unbeaten in 11 games since their derby defeat at the Etihad at the beginning of November.
They’ve won eight of those matches, a run which has seen them rocket up the table and into a Champions League place. However, they are still only one point and one place above Southampton, who are also enjoying a season that has so far surpassed expectations.
Despite some recent setbacks, the Saints have won four of their nine matches on the road in the Premier League and won’t give United an easy ride, even though Louis van Gaal’s men have won eight of their 10 home games and lost only once.
United full backs Rafael and Luke Shaw were both injured in last week’s FA Cup win at Yeovil so sit this one out and former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdez will have to settle for a place on the bench having signed a contract in midweek.
But van Persie should return having been rested and Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata and Jonny Evans are also likely to be recalled. The Saints are without the injured Sadio Mane so Shane Long is likely to continue up front alongside top scorer Graziano Pelle. Toby Alderweireld should return to the defence.
Southampton haven’t won at Old Trafford in any of their last 19 visits and van Persie has been a constant thorn in their side in recent encounters.
The Dutchman has averaged a goal in game in his last seven appearances against them and is 6/5 to be an anytime goalscorer this weekend. But, despite David De Gea’s excellent form, United have only kept four clean sheets in their last 12 so there could be a few goals in this one. Four total goals is 51/10.
The match kicks off at 4.00pm on Sunday, January 11th at Old Trafford.