Premier League preview: Man United vs. Southampton

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  • Pogba to make United debut
  • Mourinho’s first PL home game for United
  • Saints have won on last two trips to United
  • First Friday night game this season

Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Friday

Jose Mourinho will take charge of his first home PL game for United and he has an incredible home league record throughout his indomitable career. The Portuguese coach has lost just nine of his 257 home league games in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain and hopes to turn Old Trafford into a fortress in his debut season in charge of the Red Devils.

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United beat Bournemouth 3-1 away from home in their opening game of the new PL season and sit top of the table, while world-record signing Paul Pogba is expected to play some part for United after Mourinho confirmed he is ready. Pogba was suspended so couldn’t make his United debut last weekend following his $117 million move from Juventus 10 days ago.

As for Saints, they have a new manager too with Frenchman Claude Puel arriving from Nice in the summer. His first game in charge saw Saints draw 1-1 at home to Watford and he’s been using a new diamond formation in midfield which has had mixed results during preseason.

In team news United could welcome Chris Smalling back into the starting lineup, while Saints have just one injury with left back Ryan Bertrand unavailable.


What they’re saying

Mourinho on importance of the fans at Old Trafford: “It all starts there, the relationship between the team and the fans. If at Old Trafford, a couple of thousand away fans can be more noisy than 70,000, we are in trouble. It means there is no connection.”

Saints’ Nathan Redmond on heading to United: “Playing against a great team in one of the biggest stadiums in the world is something we are looking forward to. As a player, you want to play in these types of games and show what you are about. We head to Old Trafford with confidence and belief and look forward to imposing our game plan.

Prediction

There’s a real feel-good factor around Old Trafford and Mourinho and his side will look to get the fans on board as soon as they can. Expect a fast start from United and if they score early this could be a very comfortable win. That said, Saints will be tough to break down and Puel’s side had the second best defensive record on the road last season. This will be tight but on Mourinho’s big night his team will get the job done. 2-1 to Manchester United.