Home Sports Football Premier League Mediocre United to struggle at St Mary’s
Mediocre United to struggle at St Mary’s

Mediocre United to struggle at St Mary’s


Southampton can bring a poor recent home record to an end when they take on a Manchester United side focused on next week’s Europa League final against Ajax.

Jose Mourinho has been saying for several weeks that glory in Europe was more important to him than trying to finish in the top four of the Premier League and has rotated his squad accordingly, with back-to-back domestic defeats to Arsenal and Tottenham the result.

With a top-four finish now a mathematical impossibility, United look set to go through the motions at St Mary’s so a 1-0 Saints victory looks good value at 29/4.

Claude Puel’s team have struggled for goals all season, failing to find the net in their last three home encounters, although they did win 2-1 at Middlesbrough on Saturday as well as missing a penalty.

No team in the top half of the table has scored fewer goals than Southampton (41) but they remain a solid mid-table team despite the plethora of stars that have been sold in the last few years – including Luke Shaw to Old Trafford.

United have scored 28 fewer goals than champions Chelsea, but remain solid defensively and have the joint second-best record in the top flight.

They are 43/20 to keep a clean sheet on the south coast while the odds on less than 1.5 goals in what is sure to be a tight game seem generous at 43/20.

Manolo Gabbadiani netted both of Southampton’s goals in their 3-2 EFL Cup final defeat to United in February, but he looks set to sit out Wednesday’s match along with Shane Long and Virgil van Dijk, who both have ankle problems.

Mourinho seems certain to rest several of his first-team regulars and will definitely be without the injured quartet of Shaw, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young.

United are 17/10 to end their losing sequence by winning at St Mary’s while Wayne Rooney is good value to score the first goal at 27/4.

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Mark Race Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels. An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.