FOOTBALL NEWS

31/08/2012 16:17, Report by A Marshall, A O'Connor
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Preview: Saints vs Reds

Date, time and coverage:

Sunday 2 September 2012, 16:00 BST kick-off. Live on Sky Sports. Follow it live on ManUtd.com with text and radio commentary.

Form guide: United bounced back from the 1-0 defeat at Everton with a hard-fought 3-2 success against Fulham in the first home game of the new season. The Saints were unlucky to be edged out of a five-goal thriller at Manchester City on the opening weekend but followed it up with a disappointing 2-0 home reverse to Wigan. A 4-1 Capital One Cup mauling of Stevenage in midweek suggested they have not let it affect their confidence.

Betting: bwin have United as 53/100 favourites to get the job done against 5/1 shots Southampton, while draw is priced at 3/1. The Reds were 2-1 winners at St Mary’s in an FA Cup fourth-round tie between the sides in January 2011 and a repeat is available at 27/4. Meanwhile, after his stunning goal against Fulham, Robin van Persie is 7/2 to break the deadlock on the south coast, with Shinji Kagawa also sure to have plenty of support at 6/1. Register online with bwin and claim up to £20 in free bets with your first deposit.

Last meeting: United came from behind to win the afore-mentioned cup tie, with Michael Owen levelling the scores after a Richard Chaplow cracker for the Saints. Javier Hernandez grabbed the winner with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Ins and outs: Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young are missing after picking up injuries against the Cottagers but Jonny Evans should be fit enough to return in defence, which will enable Michael Carrick to move back to midfield. Rio Ferdinand is a major doubt with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling definitely

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