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Sporting Life's Premier League preview
Sporting Life's Premier League preview

It might not be pretty, but George Pitts expects Manchester United to edge Southampton and pile the pressure on Mark Hughes, with a best bet which has no bearing on the result.

Recommended bets

1pt Paul Pogba 1+ shots on target and Anthony Martial 2+ shots on target at 9/4

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Southampton v Manchester United (1730 GMT, BT Sport)

Two sides desperate for a win for different reasons meet at St Mary's in Saturday's late kick-off.

Both bosses - Mark Hughes and Jose Mourinho - lead the way in the betting for the next Premier League managerial departure, and defeat could put the writing on the wall for the former's spell at St Mary's.

Granted, a home defeat against Manchester United is excusable, but the Saints are on a nine-match winless run in the Premier League and face another long season battling against the drop.

United, meanwhile, squeezed past Young Boys with Marouane Fellaini's late winner in the Champions League in midweek, are without a win in their last two league matches and are now 14 points adrift of leaders Man City.

Romelu Lukaku's first-half goal helped the Red Devils to a 1-0 win in the same fixture last season, and it might take another battling performance to leave the south coast with the points again.


Betting guide

Jose Mourinho trudges off the pitch after Manchester United drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace
Jose Mourinho trudges off the pitch after Manchester United drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace

Prediction: Southampton 0-2 Manchester United (Sky bet odds: 17/2)
It will probably be far from convincing, with the Red Devils lacking in belief and confidence at the minute and the scoreline could be a little generous to them with Southampton struggling in front of goal all season. Should they win to nil, it will be United's fourth successive clean sheet against the club in all competitions.

Best bet: Paul Pogba 1+ shots on target and Anthony Martial 2+ shots on target at 9/4
With United being pretty unpredictable in this current regime, the preference is to avoid a bet which relies on the full-time result. United, regardless of how they play, should dominate possession and try their luck on goal. Times like this need the likes of Pogba to stand up and lead by example and the midfielder averages around three shots per game. Martial, who has six goals in his last nine appearances, will be full of confidence and keen to add to his tally.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku anytime at 7/4
The Belgian may be on a 12-game goalless run for the Red Devils, but he is more than due a goal and it is likely to come in a scrappy game like this on the south coast with the visitors probably grinding out a win. He is also available in a score and win double at just over 2/1, but it is worth waiting until closer to kick-off to see if he starts. Lukaku has six goals in nine appearances against the Saints and averages nearly two shots per game.

RequestABet: Lukaku to score anytime, Young to be carded and Pogba 1+ shots on target at 8/1


Opta stats

Southampton's Charlie Austin celebrates before his goal is eventually ruled out
Last time at St Mary's: Charlie Austin celebrates before his goal is eventually ruled out v Watford
  • Southampton are winless in seven home Premier League matches against Manchester United (W0 D2 L5) since a 1-0 win in August 2003.
  • Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Man Utd have won four of their 10 Premier League games against Southampton (D4 L2), having won nine of the last 10 under the Scotsman.
  • Manchester United have come from behind to beat Southampton on eight different occasions in the Premier League – no side has done so against a specific opponent more in the competition (also Chelsea vs Sunderland and Man Utd vs Newcastle).
  • Southampton are winless in their six home Premier League games this season (D4 L2), their longest ever winless run from the start of a league season at home.
  • Southampton have picked up just one win from their last 17 Premier League home matches (D9 L7), beating Bournemouth 2-1 in April.
  • Manchester United have lost six away Premier League matches in 2018 – in only one previous calendar year have they lost more in the competition, (7 in 2015).
  • Southampton have led in five Premier League games this season, but have won just one of them (D2 L2). They’ve lost more points from winning positions than any other Premier League side in 2018-19 (10).
  • Since Jose Mourinho took charge of Man Utd, only Southampton (15) have drawn more Premier League games 0-0 than the Red Devils (10).
  • Man Utd striker Romelu Lukaku has scored four Premier League goals at St. Mary’s against Southampton – only two players have ever scored more against Saints at St. Mary’s in the top-flight (Olivier Giroud and Robin van Persie, both five goals).
  • Four of Man Utd’s last five Premier League away goals have been scored by Anthony Martial. Only Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (5) have scored more away Premier League goals than the Frenchman this season.

Odds correct as of 1530 GMT on 30/11/18

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