Saints and Red Devils will battle for the high ground on Saturday at St. Mary’s (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Southampton’s three points have them in the drop zone, thanks to half of the table holding 1-1-1 records. That half includes Manchester United.
And with the Red Devils having sanctioned a pair of Serie A loan moves for Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez, the bench is going to look a little different this week.
What they’re saying
Saints manager Hasenhuttl eyes progress: “I think the team is building up self-confidence now, after that difficult start, with difficult games. We had a very good performance against Liverpool, but with no points after two games, and now we have turned the table a little bit and we can make a massive step now when we take three points against Man United.”
United boss Solskjaer on possible Zlatan return: “Who knows, he knows my number, he looked at my house [to rent]. We can speak a native language, if he’s serious I’ll always speak to Zlatan. I don’t think that’ll happen, no. I think he’s had his time at the club, he’s had a fantastic career at the club.”
Southampton: Gunn — Danso, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Bednarek, Valery — Hojbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse — Ings, Adams.
Manchester United: De Gea — Young, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka — McTominay, Pogba, Mata — James, Rashford, Lingard.
Prediction: United has been terribly unfortunate this season, but at some point the Red Devils have to let the rubber meet the road in terms of results. It won’t be easy at Southampton, but the lack of Redmond and Djenepo may force Hasenhuttl to play it safe. That sounds like 1-0 United to us. For the entertainment of it, let’s hope somebody scores early.