With wall-like defences and wings so spicy they should be available in chicken shops, this one is shaping up to be a proper cracker…
Southampton v Manchester United, Saturday 31 August, 12pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)
With the first international break of the season looming, neither Saints coach Ralph Hasenhüttl nor United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjær will want to head into the two-week Premier League hiatus on the back of a defeat.
And that means the sparks should fly when their sides lock horns at St Mary’s, with both looking to climb up the table and leave a clear message for their closest rivals before the action resumes in mid-September.
Plus, if last season’s two encounters are anything to go by, this should be a match well worth tuning in for. The same fixture last November was a tense 2-2 draw that almost spelled the end of the Jose Mourinho era (he was gone a couple of weeks later), while the March reverse was a tight 3-2 win for United packed with jaw-dropping strikes like this absolute worldie from Saints’ Yan Valery.
And when you consider Southampton’s Jürgen Klopp-esque tendency to press high and attempt to force opponents into a mistake will be pitted against United’s more clinical, frighteningly quick counter-attacking style, this has all the makings of another frantic, end-to-end goalfest.
For more details as to where we think this thrilling matchup could be won or lost, check out the graphic below to see the key clashes that will play out across the pitch…
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