Friday, 9 January 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: UNITED vs SOUTHAMPTON, SUNDAY 11th JANUARY, 4.00pm

 Unbeaten in 11 games, United tackle Southampton with their manager Louis van Gaal able to pick from a virtually fully fit squad for the first time this season.Only Ashley Young is missing, with the wing back out for between four and six weeks with a hamstring injury. Robin Van Persie and Michael Carrick, who both sat out the 2-0 FA Cup win at Yeovil should come back in and Angel Di Maria, who impressed as a substitute in that match, also looks set to start.Rafael and Luke Shaw, against his former club, are available despite both being substituted at half-time at Huish Park.

Speaking at Friday's press conference, Van Gaal said:“I have to select, for the first time in my career at Manchester United, the 11 players and the 18 and everybody is fit and healthy except Ashley Young.“Rafael and Shaw are both ready, they are both not injured, maybe we don't take any risks with Rafael, but Shaw can definitely play.

“Southampton are a team who, like us, are fighting for a top place in the league but we are at home where the fans have been patient and fantastic, I am sure they will again support us in a very crucial game for Manchester United.”

Ronald Koeman's high flying Saints travel to Old Trafford only one point behind United and sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League.The two sides' last meeting was as recently as December at St Mary's when a Van Persie brace gave the visitors a somewhat fortunate 2-1 win.

Southampton have surprised many this season and come to the Theatre of Dreams on the back of a current five match unbeaten run which has revived their push for a top four finish after a run of five successive league and cup defeats.Manchester United are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League matches against Southampton, winning six and drawing two.

Match odds: United 5/6 Southampton 7/4 Draw 14

Form guide: United W D W D D W Southampton L W W D W D

Referee: Phil Dowd



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