Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Southampton

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Two sides who haven’t staged a scoreless draw since 1992 square off at Old Trafford on Saturday when Manchester United hosts Southampton (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

There have been plenty of thrills between United and Saints, with 42 goals scored in their last 13 matches.

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Manchester United’s Louis Van Gaal has been struggling with rumors of his impending retirement, and United’s interest in Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola. He’s also dealing with injuries, and Ashley Young is set for a long spell on the sidelines.

On the other side, Ronald Koeman has a brand new striker in former QPR hitman Charlie Austin, who scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season and has netted 10 times in 16 matches in the Championship this season.

What they’re saying

Van Gaal on injuries changing United’s transfer needs: “This is why we have to look in this transfer period for replacements. The difficulty is that we ask for a level and the clubs do not want to sell in this period. That is our problem. We are looking but it is not so easy. Nobody can understand that because [people think] it is easy and it is not so.”

Saints boss Ronald Koeman may go with a 3-5-2“That’s possible, but I mention already that we have players that can play out of different systems. The most important is what is the best and in which system you have the best possibility to beat United, because we have players who can play out of a normal system and also can play out of the system in the last two games [in which] they showed very good defensive organisation.”

Prediction

Southampton is coming off 2-0 and 3-0 wins in the Premier League, while United just topped Liverpool 1-0 after a 3-3 draw with Newcastle. So, yes, we think the trend of goals will continue. However, is it too much to expect United to continue its table charge, especially in light of such injuries? The home crowd helps the Red Devils to a 2-1 win, with Austin netting on debut.