It would be fair to say that José Mourinho hasn’t had a particularly merry Christmas, with his Manchester United side having failed to beat Bristol City, Leicester City and Burnley in their last 3 outings.
The Portuguese will be demanding an immediate response from his players as they prepare to host Southampton at Old Trafford this evening, with many having come in for criticism from all quarters in recent weeks.
The Saints themselves are in incredibly poor form, with no wins from their last 7 Premier League outings, meaning that nothing but a win will be good enough for the Stretford End faithful. To get that, however, Mourinho will have to get his selection right. This is the XI we expect him to go with:
|PLAYER||% MINS PLD||GLS||AST.|
|0||0||0 / 0|
|2||4||5 / 0|
|0||0||1 / 0|
|0||0||5 / 0|
|0||0||1 / 0|
|0||1||2 / 0|
|3||6||2 / 1|
|2||5||2 / 0|
|9||5||2 / 0|
|9||7||3 / 0|
|14||4||2 / 0|
|Totals||39||32||25 / 1|
|TOTAL PREMIER LEAGUE EXPERIENCE|
Marcos Rojo’s return from injury looks set to be a timely one, and he will partner Phil Jones in central defense. The pair struck up quite the understanding in a run of 12 consecutive games last season, and will offer some assuredness to what has at times looked a vulnerable United back line.
Jesse Lingard was the hero on Boxing Day as he saved United from slipping to a humiliating home defeat to Bournemouth with a brace, and he looks set to be given the nod from the start here alongside Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan behind the striker.
That striker, however, will be one increasingly looking low on confidence. Romelu Lukaku’s demeanor on the pitch has never really bounced back since his derby day disaster against Manchester City, and Mourinho will be doing everything he can to help his big-money man get back to his old scoring ways as soon as possible.
Overall, it’s a very strong side and one that really has to be beating the likes of Southampton on home turf. New Betfair customers can back the home win at huge odds of 25/1, and it really is the best bet to be had on the match.
When taking a look at KickOff’s all-new Acca Smacker, the strength of this bet becomes even clearer. Using our unique predictive algorithm, we calculate than Manchester United have a 76% chance of claiming victory here compared to just 8% for a Southampton win.
When clicking on the ‘Form Stats’ tab, it’s abundantly clear why. Using 18 key data points, 9 attacking and 9 defensive, from the past 10 games for each side, KickOff compares the two sides and finds that United come out on top in every single one. They are the form team here, and Southampton will need to perform miracles to gain anything from the game.