Michael Owen agrees with pundits on Manchester United vs Southampton prediction

Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday evening’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Burnley when they welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.

United, who are unbeaten in their last 12 meetings with the Saints in all competitions, will be looking to get back to winning ways after Jay Rodriguez’s second half equalizer canceled out Paul Pogba’s first goal of the season at Turf Moor in midweek, forcing the Reds to settle for just a point.

Considering United had bowed out of the FA Cup a few days earlier, losing to Middlesbrough on penalties, they will be under pressure to get a result and get back to winning ways against the Saints, who recorded an impressive 3-2 triumph on Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

United will enter the contest with the challenge of trying to climb back into the top-four, meaning interim manager Ralf Rangnick will be under pressure to get a result from his players.

However, given the Saints’ reasonably strong start to 2022, United will be in for a stern test against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, who are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions.

But how do the pundits think United will get on against the Saints?

Mark Lawrenson – BBC Sport

“United are still very up and down during games and we saw again in their draw against Burnley that they don’t seem able to play well for 90 minutes – they only seem to manage it for one half at the moment,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“I do think they were unlucky not to beat the Clarets, though. It’s not even the case they are not taking their chances because they did that at Turf Moor, but VAR ruled two of their goals out.

“I can understand why Rangnick was so frustrated – especially at seeing Josh Brownhill’s own goal disallowed.

“United can argue the big decisions went against them but they should still be beating the Premier League’s bottom side anyway. The bigger issue is I am still waiting to see a performance from them under Rangnick that tells me they are on their way, or up and running, under him.

“They need one of those soon so he can point to it as an example of the levels they need to be at every time, but obviously he would settle for a win this weekend however it comes.

“It will be interesting to see how United get on against Southampton because it won’t be one-way traffic. I can see Armando Broja causing the United defense some problems and so will James Ward-Prowse with his set-pieces.”

prediction: United 2-1 Southampton.

Paul Merson – Sportskeeda

“This is a massive football match,” Merson told Sportskeeda. “I thought Manchester United would definitely beat Burnley. They battered them in the first half and did not need that half-time break. West Ham and Arsenal won their games – that didn’t help them either.

“If Southampton play like they did against Tottenham, they’re not losing this match. But Southampton are Southampton – that’s why they are where they are in the Premier League. That probably was Southampton’s best performance in 15 years, and I don’t know if they can do it in back-to-back games.

“Ronaldo will be back in the starting eleven this weekend. The manager’s not getting Cavani right – the Burnley game was the poorest I’ve ever seen him play. If Manchester United don’t get a result here, they can kiss the top four goodbye. They’re at risk of losing out on Champions League football next season, and they have to win this match.”

prediction: United 2-1 Southampton.

Michael Owen – BetVictor

“After those dropped points against Burnley on Tuesday, the pressure is on Ralf Rangnick’s Man United,” Owen told BetVictor.

“They played quite well at Turf Moor, but they didn’t take their chances and didn’t put Burnley out of sight. The number of goals they’ve conceded due to individual mistakes this season has been alarming.

“Southampton probably had their best performance of the season against Spurs. They completely deserved the win and showed loads of character to come from behind twice. Hasenhuttl coaches this side so well, and they executed their pressing game brilliantly.

“This is far from an easy game for United. Rangnick and Hasenhuttl know each other so well, so there are no secrets here. I am going for a narrow 2-1 United win.”

prediction: United 2-1 Southampton.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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