Southampton V Man United Preview : It's an end of season filler!
Event Venue: St Mary's Stadium, Kick off: 19:45. Sky Sports.See Stats
Southampton V Man United Preview
If there ever was the definition of a game that has nothing at stake, it's this one. Southampton are sitting in mid-table and Manchester United have proved through two recent trips to north London that they are solely focused on the upcoming Europa League final. With nothing more to be gained through a league finish, prepare for an exhibition style affair at St Mary's.
Make no mistake, all Jose Mourinho and Manchester United care about is qualifying for Champions League football next season. They proved last summer that the top-tier of European competition isn't the be-all and end-all in attracting top players (ahem, welcome Paul Pogba), but there is only so long that will last. Also, the money attached to that competition is vital for a big club to thrive, even with the financial stroke of Manchester United. Now that they are booked into the Europa League final in 10 days time, the Red Devils have shown in the league that they are prepared to shuffle their pack and give their fringe players a chance. Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingard and Axel Tuanzebe are some of the players that have benefitted from this rotation. There's no reason to read to much into United's form or Mourinho's team selection, he's clearly focused on the bigger prize.
Saints are hardly marching
Southampton sit ninth in the Premier League table a long way from Europe and a virtually equal distance from relegation. While they may be safe and sound and did get to the League Cup final this weekend (where they faced and lost to United) that still leaves them with precious little to play for now. Their form guide suggests as much, they have two draws, two losses and two wins in their last six and consistency is a massive issue with no motivation. On the player front, Sofiane Boufal has proven to be a bit of a flop, but Manolo Gabbiadinni has been a massive hit. The likes of Nathan Redmond, Virgin van Dijk and Charlie Austin have shown they can be top players and if built around, Southampton can become a big force next season. The problem is, the Saints don't really build; they prefer to sell to paper over the cracks as they go and it just so happens that the results have turned out fine thus far. Most players in this game will be thinking about their next move it's fair to say.
The nature of this game lends itself to open, almost carefree football. Because of that, and the patchy form guides, it's really difficult to say who will win, but it is likely that there will be goals.
Man United have won both of their meetings with Southampton this season
Southampton lost to Man U in the League Cup final
The Saints are 10 points behind United in the league
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Today's Main Tip
Manchester United -2 against Bournemouth at 7/4 with William Hill.
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