Southampton-Manchester United Preview
Manchester United are amidst their best run of form within the Premier League this season, yet still on the outside looking in at a top-four finish in the table.
United look to extend their season-high league winning streak to five consecutive games on Monday night when a solid Southampton squad visit Old Trafford.
Manchester United (16-10-8) were in strong form even before the coronavirus pandemic shutdown the Premier League. Upon the restart, United have been extremely stellar whilst recording a draw and four straight victories.
Bruno Fernandes (eight goals, seven assists over all competitions) had a goal with an assist and Paul Pogba finally netted his first goal of the league season in Thursday's 3-0 victory at Aston Villa.
Since the start of February, Man United are 7-3-0 inside the league, and have outscored their opponents 23-4 during that span. Though the Red Devils have not lost a top-flight match since Jan. 22, they sit fifth in the Premier League table - though within arms' length of Leicester City and Chelsea, who are above them.
"We know we have to carry on," Pogba told Manchester United's official website. "We say before training that we have to carry on. That's what Manchester United is, and we want to keep the level up always. We didn't win the Premier League and that's the goal.
"We didn't win anything (so far) this year, and there's still a lot to do."
That's because United are still alive in the Europa League and will face Chelsea in the FA Cup next weekend. United's immediate focus will be on Southampton, a side they played to a 1-1 draw with on Aug. 31.
Daniel James scored in the 10th minute for Manchester, but Jannik Vestergaard equalised the match in the 58th minute for Southampton.
The Saints (13-5-16), 12th in the Premier League table with their sight set on a top-half finish, are 3-1-1 since the restart. Following consecutive wins over Watford and Manchester City, Southampton played Everton to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Thursday.
"We're on a good run, and we want to take a forward, keep picking up results and hopefully we can finish in the top-half of the table," defender Jack Stephens told Southampton's official website.
Whether the Saints finish among the top 10 of the league, all can agree one of the true bright spots of the season has been Danny Ings. The veteran forward has enjoyed a remarkable campaign, ranking among the top-flight leaders with a personal Premier League-record 19 goals, including Thursday against Everton.
Ings has one goal in four career Premier League matches versus Manchester United, but came whilst playing for Burnley in February 2015.
Updated July 11, 2020