02 March 2019
The Champions League promotion contenders and the Premier League relegation fighters go head-to-head at Old Trafford as Manchester United tackle Southampton.
The hosts’ remarkable form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s takeover has brought them on the edge of securing the Champions League football as they currently sit fifth, with a one-point deficit to fourth-placed Arsenal. Although unbeaten in all 11 PL games since replacing Jose Mourinho (W9, D2), the Norwegian manager now hope to see his team picking up a home victory after two back-to-back stalemates. Given the Red Devils’ impressive goalscoring home run before their clash with Liverpool, there are plenty of reasons for excitement. Prior to the aforementioned derby, the 3-time Champions League winners have scored 2+ match goals in six consecutive PL home outings. Interestingly, the Red Devils are more dangerous in the first half as 55% of their home goals arrived before the half-time break.
Meanwhile, the visitors have managed to bring their frustrating four-game PL winless run to an end (D2, L2), securing a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham last time out. Although they’ve escaped the relegation zone after a long period, the Saints are still frantically looking over their shoulders as they sit just two points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff City. Although they’ve already suffered eight losses in 14 PL road games, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have lost on one of their last five PL road trips (W2, D2, L1). This fact could be encouraging considering Southampton had experienced little success on three of their previous visits to Old Trafford (D1, L2). But, Hasenhüttl’s main concern still relates to his team’s defensive frailties that have seen them failed to preserve a clean slate in eight consecutive games across all competitions prior to midweek’s clash with the Cottagers.
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