Southampton vs Man Utd: Predicted Score, Preferred Team and Match Preview
Manchester United makes the long voyage to St. Mary’s Stadium to tackle Southampton in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. On top of beating their most-hated rival, Liverpool, in the previous round, United go into this FA Cup match full of confidence following their come-from-behind Barclays Premier League victory over Blackpool, who, coincidentally, was knocked out of this historic competition by Southampton in the Third Round.
This match will mark the third meeting in the last seven years between United and Southampton, which have all been at St. Mary’s, and the Reds will hope that this match will be as easy as the previous two. Both of those away games ended with United advancing to the next round with a thumping 4-0 win in the Sixth Round in March of 2005, a then in January 2009 the Reds eased to a 3-0 victory in the Third Round.
United was completely extended against Blackpool, so with one eye on an all-important Premier League match against Aston Villa coming on Tuesday, Sir Alex Ferguson should be making some major changes to freshen up his squad. Having said that though, the United manager has admitted that this competition has been somewhat of a hex for the Reds since they were forced to withdraw from the competition in the 1999/2000 season, and he wants to lift the cup again before he calls it a day.
According to one of the statisticians on the manutd.com staff, United only have seven FA Cup winners in their current squad, which includes Michael Owen’s triumph with Liverpool in 2001, so there are plenty of Reds that are yearning to win the oldest knockout competition in the world.
United have won the FA Cup a record 11 times, and the Reds would have won another title, if it was not for them falling victim to one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s glorious history. At the old Wembley Stadium in 1976, Southampton defeated United 1-0 to win the club’s only major trophy during their 126 year history.
In their three previous FA Cup matches, Southampton have yet to concede a goal beating Shrewsbury Town (2-0), Cheltenham Town (3-0) and Blackpool (2-0). Southampton are currently in fourth spot in League One, the third tier of English football, which means that there are 47 places between them and United in the football league standings.
Nigel Adkins took over the managerial reigns at St. Mary’s after leaving Scunthorpe United prior to the Reds playing them in the Carling Cup in September. Southampton has the second best goal differential (+21) in League One behind the league-leaders, Brighton, who has a +25.
Since being relegated from the Premier League following the 2004/05 season, the Saints have flirted with bankruptcy and facing possible administration, but they may be about to cash in on another one of their young starlets.
Following in the footsteps of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott, young Alex Chamberlain is being linked with a double-digit million pound transfer to one of the big Premier League clubs, which could alleviate some of their financial concerns.
The 17-year old winger is being touted to be moving to either Arsenal, Liverpool or United in a £10 million move. Richard Lambert is the club’s leading goal scorer with nine league goals, but he has not scored in any of Southampton’s three FA Cup games this season. Amazingly, only Kelvin Davis, Oscar Gobern, Lee Holmes and Morgan Schneiderlin remain from the team that lost 3-0 against United two years ago.
It will be interesting to see Sir Alex’s team selection, but Rafael has already been ruled out with a concussion after going to the hospital against Blackpool. Even if he was fit, Rafael would have been part of the face-lift that will probably happen with the United back-four to keep everyone fresh.
The FA Cup should give Michael Owen a run out, but it will be interesting to see who he is partnered with after Javier Hernandez’s game-changing performance against the Seasiders. Wayne Rooney was unable to influence the match, which is why Chicharito was given the chance, so Ferguson will have a dilemma to either try to get the United No. 10 confidence up for the second-half of the season or unleash the young Mexican.
With Edwin van der Sar confirming his retirement plans at the end of the season, this could provide the best chance to give United’s newest signing, Anders Lindegaard, a chance to showcase his talents. The FA Cup has been unkind to Manchester United in recent memory, but hopefully the win against Liverpool will give the Reds a shift in fortune and they will knock Southampton out of the competition to add to their record number of titles.
Out: A. Valencia (leg), O. Hargreaves (hamstring), Rafael (concussion); Questionable: M. Carrick (foot), R. Ferdinand (groin)
A. Lindegaard; J. O’Shea, C. Smalling, J. Evans, Fabio; Nani, P. Scholes, Anderson, G. Obertan; W. Rooney, M. Owen
Southampton 1 Manchester United 3
Submitted by The United Religion
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