Manchester United travel to Southampton on Sunday afternoon looking to maintain their excellent away record in the Premier League.
If Manchester United avoid defeat at St Mary’s, they would equal Arsenal’s record of 27 successive away games unbeaten in the Premier League, which was set between April 2003 and September 2004.
United could hardly have gotten off to a better start to the new campaign than by thrashing Leeds 5-1 at Old Trafford last weekend. In fact, the last time Manchester United started a season with such an emphatic victory was in 2006; that season the club went on to win the first of 3 consecutive Premier League titles.
Bruno Fernandes bagged a hattrick – the first Red Devils player to do so on the opening day since 1977, whilst an inspired performance from Paul Pogba saw him provide assists for 4 of United’s five strikes.
They face a Southampton side on Sunday who will harbour bad memories of their last meeting with Manchester United, having been destroyed 9-0 at Old Trafford back in February.
The hammering equalled the record for the heaviest ever Premier League defeat, a record held by Manchester United from 1995 where they thrashed Ipswich by the same scoreline.
Southampton also have the unwanted record of being on the receiving end of a 9-0 loss twice, with Leicester putting 9 past Saints in 2019.
The reverse fixture at St Mary’s was a far closer affair last term, with United winning 3-2 thanks to a brace from Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan has hardly trained for Manchester United this pre-season due to his involvement in the Copa America this summer and is unlikely to feature on the South Coast.
There could, however, be a full debut for United new boy Jadon Sancho, who was introduced from the bench last week against Leeds. Fellow fresh face Raphael Varane was unveiled to the crowd before the game at Old Trafford but hasn’t trained with his new club to date and won’t be involved versus Southampton.
Southampton have a different look this season, with plenty of departures from St Mary’s this transfer window.
Star striker Danny Ings has moved to Aston Villa, whilst Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard have both joined Leicester City this window.
James Ward-Prowse has also been linked with a Villa Park switch, with the latest reports claiming Southampton would only entertain offers of £50m or more for their captain.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has added Mohammed Salisu and Adam Armstrong to the ranks, but some key components of his Southampton side are no longer available to him.
On the injury front the Austrian has a clean bill of health, with only fringe players Sam McQueen and Will Smallbone out with long-term knee injuries.
Manchester United meanwhile are without Alex Telles, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones, Dean Henderson and Eric Bailly for the trip to the South Coast.
Southampton v Manchester United kicks off at 2pm on Sunday 22nd August.