Southampton v Man Utd: Saints set for Sunday stuffing
Manchester United head to the south coast this Sunday afternoon with their hosts still waiting for their first win since returning to the Premier League.
The Saints opened their campaign with a narrow 3-2 defeat against Manchester City and followed that up with a demoralising loss against Wigan at a half-empty St Mary’s.
No side has lost their opening three Premier League games since Sunderland in the 2005/06 season but few would bet against the Saints emulating that feat this term.
Man Utd are unsurprisingly the massive favourites for this clash at 8/15 and should have no problems seeing off the new boys.
Wayne Rooney will be missing for United after his horrendous-looking injury against Fulham last weekend but Sir Alex Ferguson’s side aren’t exactly short of firepower, with Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez all more than capable of finding the net.
United have won five of their previous six meetings with the Saints and they had the best away record in the Premier League last year – there’s very little to suggest Nigel Adkins’ men will get anything out of this clash.
However, if you can see an upset – as there briefly promised to be at the Etihad on the opening weekend – then the Saints can be backed at 11/2 to get an unlikely win and at 3/1 to get a draw.
While meetings between these sides have tended to be high-scoring affairs – each of their last six games have yielded at least three goals – Man Utd’s recent away record hints at a slightly more frugal 90 minutes.
Each of their previous five games have had under 2.5 goals s scored, while all of the last four have only had one strike.
Backing under 2.5 goals looks a tempting punt at 11/10 while under 1.5 goals is available at a larger 10/3 if you’re feeling adventurous.
Finally, Van Persie scored with his first shot as a Manchester United player against Fulham and he’s 3/1 to open the scoring.