Manchester United vs Southampton predictions: Saints can make Red Devils sweat
- 67% of United's home league goals this season have been scored after half-time
- Southampton have not conceded in the first half of five out of their last six PL games
- Recommended bet: Under 0.5 Man Utd Team Total Goals — 1st half
Southampton seek to further their Premier League survival bid at Old Trafford on Sunday when they face a Manchester United side still smarting from their heaviest defeat in close to a century.
Erik ten Hag called out his side's professionalism after they collapsed to a 7-0 loss at the home of arch-rivals Liverpool last Sunday, a bitter memory that has only partially been buried by their 4-1 midweek win over Real Betis.
A narrow victory over relegation rivals Leicester last Saturday pushed the Saints off the bottom of the table and to within one point of 17th place.
Ruben Selles will now lead his men into a fixture which, although remembered for their own 9-0 embarrassment in 2021, has not been anything like the graveyard for their hopes as it has been for others.
United look set to be without Anthony Martial (hip) and Marcel Sabitzer (unspecified) again after both players missed Thursday night's game.
Ten Hag could rotate his full-backs, which would see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia start, while Alejandro Garnacho could be handed another chance.
Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek are on the long-term casualty list.
Selles has been boosted by the news that midfielder Carlos Alcaraz, who injured his knee while celebrating his goal against the Foxes, might be fit to play.
The Argentinian midfielder's scan results have come back clear, but he missed a few days of training this week and may have to begin on the bench.
Mohamed Elyounoussi is the obvious candidate to come into the line-up, which Selles would prefer not to change.
Tino Livramento and Juan Larios remain out.
Southampton became the last team to keep a clean sheet in a home game in this Premier League season when they shut out Leicester last weekend.
After a run of four clean sheets in five Old Trafford outings between December and January, United have now blanked just two of their last eight opponents at home.
The Red Devils have scored just three goals in the opening 15 minutes of their Premier League games this term — the same number as Southampton.
But no team in the English top flight has hit more goals in the final quarter of an hour than Ten Hag's men, who have scored 12 times between the 75th minute and full-time.
Southampton will have seen plenty to encourage them from United's torrid display at Anfield.
Selles' side showed steel in holding on for a win with a clean sheet against Leicester and their recent record at Old Trafford is not terrible at all.
The Saints have taken a point from three of their last five trips to the Theatre of Dreams with the only bad result in that span being the 9-0 loss when they were reduced to ten men in the opening minutes.
They have shown an ability to shut out better opponents for long periods, keeping 45-minute clean sheets in five of their last six Premier League games.
United are slow starters and strong finishers, as was proven again on Thursday, and could struggle to break down a Southampton defence that is steadily improving until after the break.
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