Manchester United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford tonight looking to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Second placed Manchester City could only manage a draw at bottom club QPR on Tuesday night so United have the chance to move seven points clear in the title race with a win tonight.
The visitors arrive with new boss Mauricio Pochettino taking charge of his first away game having held Everton to a 0-0 draw at St Mary’s in his opening game in charge, and the former Espanyol coach would be forgiven for hoping for an easier task than facing United at Old Trafford.
United have been ominous at home so far this season taking 27 points from a possible 30, with a 3-2 loss to Tottenham the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record. The Saints on the other hand have only picked up nine points on the road this season so Pochettino will have his work cut out to continue his unbeaten start to life on the south coast.
Striker Robin van Persie is expected to return to the starting eleven after being rested for Saturday’s FA Cup win over Fulham. The Dutchman is likely to be joined by Wayne Rooney in attack with Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa pushing for starts in midfield.
Sir Alex Ferguson may opt to rest either Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand for the game with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling vying for a start at the back. Ashley Young and Jonny Evans remain on the sidelines for the game.
Southampton are sweating on the fitness of captain Adam Lallana who is close to making a comeback after almost two months out with knee ligament injury, but he’s likely to make the bench at best tonight.
Jose Fonte is also out but Guly do Prado is expected to shake off a knee problem. New signing Vegard Forren is unlikely to make his debut just yet.
Man Utd’s superb home form coupled with Southampton’s poor away record should ensure United extend their lead over City to seven points. Man Utd 3-0 Southampton
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