With their top four hopes dead in the water, Manchester United go to Southampton on Wednesday night in what fans will hope doesn’t turn out to be a typical end-of-season encounter.
Jose Mourinho clearly turned his focus to the Europa League weeks ago but he will be hoping his side can show a high level of application and attitude that they need to take into their Europa League final clash against Ajax.
Southampton’s recent form doesn’t make for the best reading although they have been ‘on holiday’ for the past few weeks sitting comfortably in ninth place. One win in the last six games will irritate Claude Puel and Saints fans, no doubt, but they have recently played Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and also Liverpool, who they were able to nick a point off at Anfield.
Manchester United’s form as of late is equally as underwhelming. Losses to Tottenham and Arsenal as well as a draw to their rivals Man City tell us a lot about Mourinho’s United this season, they have simply not been better than those sides in and around them. It has been at home where their top four campaign has really collapsed, unable to finish off their opponents despite a vast number of chances created.
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Injuries and Suspensions
Claude Puel has no new injury concerns coming into this game, but the Frenchman did reveal that Alex McCarthy and Virgil van Dijk have been progressing well, although they are unlikely to feature here.
As for United, their injury list is extensive, and includes the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young. David de Gea has reportedly not travelled with the squad to the South coast, whilst full-backs Daley Blind and Antonio Valencia are likely to be rested. Joel Pereira could make his first Premier League start of the season on Thursday.
Match Prediction: Southampton 2-1 Manchester United
It is very difficult to pick out an obvious winner with both teams’ Premier League seasons all but over. Of course, both sides will be after a win, but the Saints, facing a weakened United side and at home, should come out on top two goals to one.