Premier League Preview: Southampton vs. Manchester United

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
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  • United won 3-2 in EFL Cup Final
  • And 2-0 at Old Trafford on Aug. 19
  • Man Utd leads all-time 63W-30D-27L

It’s an EFL Cup Final rematch at St. Mary’s on Wednesday, when Manchester United will look for season sweep of Southampton (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Southampton sits eighth in the Premier League table, and controls its own destiny with this being a match-in-hand on two of the three teams which can still finish eighth. Claude Puel knows his future may at stake, and will want to take every chance to end with positive impressions.

Meanwhile, United knows it will finish in sixth place in the league. Jose Mourinho may hand several youngsters playing time, with names like Joel PereiraAxel Tuanzebe, Demi Mitchell and Scott McTominay possibilties.

“I have to build some teams with the minimum of conditions to fight for a result,” Mourinho said. “We lost against Arsenal 2-0 and we fought for the result. We lost 2-1 [at Spurs] and we fought for the result.”

The match is one week before United faces Ajax in Sweden for the UEFA Europa League crown and a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

What they’re saying

Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger on Puel in an exclusive with JPW: “Claude has been a part of everything that has happened this year. It is really going to be the players or however else, it is up to football to give us the final grade and then we will see how we go forward.”

Man Utd’s Marcus Rashford on playing its best“”We’ve got to keep fighting till the end. As individuals, the way we’re made at this club is we want to win every game, no matter what game it is and what circumstances we’re in. It’s going to be the same approach until the end of the season.”

Prediction

Saints hopes of finishing strong at home in back-to-back St. Mary’s tilts will be met by United players hoping to impress Mourinho. Could be a lot of fun here with a 2-2 draw.