last hosted the teams way back in December 2004. On that occasion, United won 3-0 thanks to goals by Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Opposition boss: The surprise sacking of Nigel Adkins, a man who took Southampton from League One to the Premier League in just two seasons, opened the door for Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino to take over. A legend at Espanyol as a player, Pochettino, 40, also managed the club - based in Barcelona - for three-and-a-half years before losing his job in November.
Star man: Southampton may lie in 15th spot but in striker Rickie Lambert they have a player with an exceptional eye for goal. Indeed, only four players – Michu, Demba Ba, Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie – have found the net more times in the league this season. A real journeyman in his earlier years (he's played in each of England's top four divisions), Lambert would love to continue his fine form by netting at Old Trafford.
Quote/unquote: “To meet Sir Alex will be a proud moment. He’s an incredible manager who has had a successful project for 25 years. But I’m worried about which Argentine wine I can take him. I worry he may end up disappointed.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Whistle-blower: Lee Mason is the man in charge on Wednesday night. The 41-year-old from Bolton has officiated one Reds game already this season, the 5-4 Capital One Cup defeat at Chelsea.
Rivals watch: Manchester City drew 0-0 at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night. Elsewhere on Wednesday, Arsenal host Liverpool (19:45) and Chelsea travel to Reading (20:00).