The Premier League action returns as Manchester United will host Southampton this Saturday at Old Trafford. The Red Devils will try to keep their positive start of 2016 as in first 4 games so far they remain unbeaten. A win could see Louis Van Gaal side reduce the 7 points gap with Premier League leaders, Arsenal. Meanwhile Southampton will try to cause the first loss for Manchester United , that could send them closer to Europa League spots.
January 23, 2016 • 16:00 • Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: Mike Jones
Manchester United vs Southampton Live Streams
For Louis Van Gaal it was a bad way to end 2015 , as The Red Devils had a negative run of 8 winless games, and very strong rumours of the Dutch manager being sacked after being knocked out of Champions League.
Anyway it seems that the bad times passed , as United have returned to good results : winning against Swansea City at home, and vs Liverpool away – but also it seems they’ve got the “old” Wayne Rooney back as the English International has 4 goals in 3 games in 2016 – the double that he have scored in first 19 weeks.
Despite being back on the track, the Dutchman still has many problems – especially in the defensive phase, which was criticised after the 6 goal drama against Newcastle. Van Gaal admitted that he’s looking for full backs since Matteo Darmian is the only one who’s available right now.
“I need full-backs. We are looking for a level but clubs don’t want to sell. It is difficult. You think it is so easy.” – said Van Gaal.
Talking about the pressure, the Dutch manager admits that it’s not the same like some games ago, but it will become heavier if they fail to win against Southampton. Remember that Manchester United have a unpleasing performance at Old Trafford since they’ve managed to win only twice since September.
Van Gaal has stated that Ashley Young will not be available against Southampton , meanwhile Carrick and Schweinsteiger will be in doubt.Probably good news for the Man United fans as Adnan Januzaj has been named to the squad, as they youngster may add something to United’s attacking phase.
Meanwhile Southampton is going on a positive run, despite not being consistent as they’ve won 3 on their last 5 Premier League games, where the most notable one was 4-0 against Arsenal. Maybe a concerning thing may be that all 3 wins for Koeman’s side has come at Britannia Stadium.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman looks ahead to his side’s Premier League match against Manchester United.
“I don’t talk too much about Man United, because everybody’s talking about Man United and they had a big result last weekend (a 1-0 win at Liverpool) and they are strong. Maybe they don’t score a lot of goals, but they don’t concede a lot. Still, it’s difficult to beat Man United, but it’s a team which has a lot of strengths, but also a team with some weaknesses. And we know, because we were two times very close to have a better result than the 2-3 down (at St. Mary’s back in September), and we have the experience to win after 27 years at Old Trafford (1-0 last season) and we know we can beat them, but then we have to be really good in all aspects of football.”
“I don’t think so, that we can catch them, that’s not the reason for the weekend, what we have to do is continue what we showed in the last two games (home wins over Watford and West Bromwich Albion), (it) was good organisation, it was a good spirit and really good quality in creating chances and scoring goals and that’s the way, how we like to play and if we reach teams above in the position in the table, ok, that’s good, but it’s not just that for the weekend.”
Koeman hopes his new man Charlie Austin, who arrived from QPR for 4million. The Italian striker has a positive record against Manchester United as he scored 3 goal in last 3 games, but probably Koeman will keep his “winning” formation and start Long instead.Long may help the Saints achieve their first win away from Britannia Stadium since 7th of November.
Manchester United : De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Lingaard, Mata, Martial, Rooney
Southampton : Forster, Cedric, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Fonte, Davis, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Long , Tadic.