Manchester United has an excellent chance to extend their lead in the English Premier League to seven points when they meet Southampton at Old Trafford on Wed. Jan 30. They will go into the match with a five-point lead on second-place Manchester City who were held to a 0-0 draw by Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in London on Jan. 29.
United sits on the top of the table with 19 wins, two draws and three losses for 56 points while scoring 57 goals and allowing 30 against. Southampton has five wins, eight draws and 10 losses for 23 points. They’re in 16th place with 30 goals for and 40 against. United hasn’t lost in their past 11 matches and are coming off of a 4-1 home win over Fulham in the FA Cup on Saturday. They’ve also managed to beat Southampton seven times in a row. Their earlier meeting this season was a 3-2 away win.
Southampton are playing well at the moment too and have lost just one time in their past seven contests. However, five of those games have been draws. United will welcome Nick Powell back to the squad after he has been out with an injury. It looks like Jonny Evans and Ashley Young are going to miss the match. For Southampton, the status of Adam Lallana is up in the air while striker Guilhermo do Prado will probably miss the game along with Jose Fonte.
Man United has a lot of offensive weapons with Dutch international Robin van Persie being their most dangerous. He single-handedly sank Southampton earlier this season by scoring all three of United’s goals, including the winner in the last minute of play. Southampton actually threw that game away after building up a 2-0 lead. Former manager Nigel Adkins that made some odd and unnecessary substitutions that turned the lead into a loss. Adkins has been replaced after getting the sack a few weeks ago and the 40-year-old Mauricio Pochettino is now managing the club. He’s a former manager and player with Spanish club Espanyol, but was also sacked back in November for poor results.
Southampton need a big game out of striker Rickie Lambert, who’s fifth in Premier League scoring so far this season. If he can come up with an exceptional effort then the south coast team has a lot better chance of leaving Manchester with at least a point. They haven’t played at Old Trafford since 2004 and that match ended up in a 3-0 defeat for them. This could turn out to be an entertaining game, but with United knowing they can open the gap on Man City look for them to come out hungry and take all three points.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Man United win at 1/4 with a Southampton victory at 9/1 and a draw at 9/2.