The only way to start this preview is to simply to say, even Liverpool beat this lot.
Something that after last season is said with immense satisfaction. Part of the reason for this satisfaction is that last season this fixture would have been labelled a “mid table clash” with very little consequence. Arsenal and Liverpool fans revelled in United’s mediocrity. Twelve months later this fixture rolls around again, but this time it is a key 90 minutes in the battle for the top four.
Like Ched Evans grasp of morality, neither Arsenal nor Liverpool are anywhere to be seen.
United are well on the up, with a four game winning streak preceding Monday night, victory against the Saints would be a perfect way to mark what is an impressive run of form. While other top four contenders have stuttered and scrambled dropping points this weekend, United could leap frog their opponents into third place. We wait with abated breath to hear how United have only achieved their renewed success by spending money, which everyone knows is out of character for any team looking to contend in the Premier League.
On top of all of that, the two managers can’t stand each other and there could well be ten rounds on the sidelines when the fiery Dutch pair meet again.
Manchester United Team News
Another week, another improvement to the list of players on the treatment table for United. Importantly Rooney is back and the latest news is that Rafael could feature. Also soon to be returning and possibly on the bench on Monday night are Phil Jones and Johnny Evans who have both been training this week.
United do have absentees, Angel Di Maria hasn’t fully recovered from a hamstring injury and Luke Shaw isn’t quite ready to return. United, however, have an ever-improving squad list and the defensive crisis seems to be easing. Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have also begun forming a good understanding that could see United fielding a consistent back four again on Monday.
Southampton Team News
Southampton have swapped roles with United and are currently mounting their own assault on the injury league table.
Jack Cork is still out for the meeting with the Red Devils, while Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez (knee), James Ward-Prowse (foot) and Sam Gallagher (knee) are long-term absentees.
Unfortunately for United, Dusan Tadic has overcome a knock and should feature.
It’s become fairly clear that Robin Van Persie will start regardless of form, so there’s little point focusing on how Falcao and Wilson might fair getting a chance up front for United. With that mind all eyes will be on Van Persie to make sure he can put his rough patch of form behind him and fire United into third.
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