Manchester United and Southampton started the 2021/22 season in contrasting form last weekend as they prepare to meet at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.
United made a big statement with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds, while the Saints crumbled in the second half against Everton and lost 3-1, despite leading at half-time.
Both clubs will be desperate to put points on the board here – United to underline their early hopes of mounting a serious title challenge this season, and Southampton in a bid to shed a tag of relegation favourites and build some positive momentum.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the fixture…
When is kick-off? Sunday 22 August
What time is kick-Off? 14:00 (BST)
Where is it played? St Mary’s
TV channel/live stream? Sky SportsMain Event/Sky Sports Premier League (UK), fuboTV(US)
Referee? Craig Pawson
The Saints have no new injuries to report ahead of this game, with James Ward-Prowse building himself towards full match fitness after overcoming an injury to start last weekend.
The squad will also be boosted by Adam Armstrong’s goalscoring start, despite defeat.
Jadon Sancho started a practice match this week and has a chance of making his full United debut, while Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani could at least make it onto the bench after starting training this week. Eric Bailly could also return to the matchday squad.
Marcus Rashford is making quicker progress than expected after shoulder surgery but remains sidelined for the time being, so too does Alex Telles. Dean Henderson is still a doubt
Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud; S. Armstrong, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo; Adams, A. Armstrong
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred, Fernandes; Sancho, Greenwood, Pogba
Manchester United have won 67 games to Southampton’s 28 since the clubs first met way back in 1897, with 34 contests ending in a draw.
This game was a Premier League staple for the first 13 years of the post-1992 era and has again become a regular on the calendar since Southampton returned to the top flight in 2012.
United won 9-0 the last time these teams met, which was at Old Trafford in February, while the Red Devils won the last St Mary’s meeting 3-2 in November. Both league meetings during the 2019/20 campaign ended in draws, and all but one of the last six games have featured at least four goals.
The Saints haven’t beaten United in any fixture, home or away, since back-to-back wins at Old Trafford in 2015 and 2016.
Form makes it very tough to look beyond a fairly comfortable Manchester United win here.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were extremely impressive in their opener against Leeds and weren’t even at full strength. They have shown they are more than capable of scoring goals against any defence that shows any signs of weakness of lapses.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints, on the other hand, had a very poor second half of last season – going on a run of only one win in 12 at one stage – and have found it difficult to strengthen, losing two key players in the transfer market in Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard.
They have started poorly again and that doesn’t bode well.
Prediction: Southampton 0-4 Manchester United