Your essential guide to Southampton v United
Manchester United will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when travelling to St Mary's to face struggling Southampton this weekend.
The Reds are out to claim all three points on the back of the recent Manchester derby defeat against City at the Etihad Stadium and last weekend’s goalless draw against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. Of course, the victory over Young Boys in midweek clinched qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
It will be a third visit to the south coast for Jose Mourinho’s men already this term, after the 3-2 defeat at Brighton in August and 2-1 triumph at Bournemouth at the start of November.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Saturday teatime kick-off…
ANY TEAM NEWS?
The boss has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez is unlikely to play for United again in 2018 because of an
“important” hamstring injury. The Chilean joins Victor Lindelof on the sidelines, with Mourinho confirming after Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over Young Boys that the Swedish centre-back is likely to be out for around three weeks after sustaining a hamstring problem towards the end of the draw against Palace. Fellow defenders Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian also missed the midweek match against Young Boys through injury. Luke Shaw could feature against his former club, after missing the Palace match to serve a one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards in the league. Mourinho has also said that summer signing Diogo Dalot, who has been restricted to two United appearances so far because of an injury, is ready to make his Premier League debut for the Reds against the Saints.
HOW ABOUT SOUTHAMPTON?
On-loan Liverpool striker Danny Ings will be ruled out for the third successive game with a hamstring injury, while fellow forward Shane Long has been experiencing an ankle injury. It also remains to be seen if left-back Ryan Bertrand will be fit enough to play as he has been struggling with a back problem.
HOW ARE SOUTHAMPTON DOING?
The Saints are languishing in the relegation zone, currently sitting 18th in the Premier League table, having picked up eight points from their 13 games so far this season. The south-coast club have won just once in the league so far - a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace at the start of September - and lost 3-2 against Fulham at Craven Cottage last weekend. They will be looking to bounce back from going out of the Carabao Cup in midweek, after losing on penalties in their rearranged fourth-round tie at Leicester City on Tuesday night, following a goalless draw at the King Power Stadium.
A FAMILIAR FACE IN THE HOME DUGOUT
Former United striker Mark Hughes has been Southampton's manager since March. The Welshman has won five of his 26 matches in charge in all competitions so far - drawing nine and losing 12. In 10 years at Old Trafford, Hughes scored 163 goals and won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the European Cup-Winners' Cup and the League Cup once. This is the sixth club he has managed against United, after coaching Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City. He actually netted nine goals for the Reds in 22 appearances against the Saints, where he also played for two years - scoring twice in 61 games between 1998 and 2000.
The Reds have faced the Saints on 123 occasions - the first of which took place in 1897. Encouragingly, we have won 64 of the previous meetings, drawing 31 and losing 28. The last time we travelled to Southampton, United came away with a 1-0 victory back in September 2017, thanks to Romelu Lukaku's first-half goal - which you can watch in our video below. The Reds have not lost at St Mary’s since August 2003, when a late James Beattie strike helped the Saints earn a 1-0 victory, and are unbeaten against Southampton in five previous games under Mourinho - including the League Cup final in February 2017, which United won 3-2 at Wembley.
The goal that beat Saints last seasonVideo
ONE TO WATCH
After netting his first Premier League goals last weekend, Stuart Armstrong will head into Saturday’s game full of confidence. The midfielder joined Southampton in the summer from Scottish champions Celtic, and is beginning to adapt to life in English football. The 26-year-old scored both of the Saints' goals in last week’s 3-2 defeat to Fulham, including a superb curling effort from outside the box.
WHO'S THE REFEREE?
Kevin Friend will take charge of his third United game of the season already on Saturday. The Leicestershire whistler handled the 3-2 defeat at Brighton in August and 1-1 draw at home to Wolves in September. The 47-year-old will officiate his 10th Premier League match of the campaign and 16th overall in all competitions. Friend will be assisted by Matthew Wilkes and Simon Beck, with Roger East appointed as the fourth official.
WHO ARE OUR RIVALS PLAYING THIS WEEKEND?
Once again, there is a full round of Premier League fixtures spread across three days this weekend. Keep an eye out for a few tasty derby fixtures on Sunday…
Friday 30 November
Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers (20:00 GMT)
Saturday 1 December
Crystal Palace v Burnley
Huddersfield Town v Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City v Watford
Manchester City v Bournemouth
Newcastle United v West Ham United
Southampton v Manchester United (17:30 GMT)
Sunday 2 December
Chelsea v Fulham (12:00 GMT)
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur (14:05 GMT)
Liverpool v Everton (16:15 GMT)
Kick-off times are 15:00 GMT unless stated.