Both Southampton and their illustrious hosts, Manchester United come into Monday night’s fixture at Old Trafford in surprisingly good form given their recent travails.
Indeed, the mere prospect of Southampton being comfortably situated in mid table and United on the cusp of a Champions League spot would have seemed ludicrous at the turn of the year.
It is great testament to the perseverance, resilience and hard work of Ralph Hasenhuttl and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that their respective sides have so markedly ascended the table and proved tough opposition for all those who encountered them. Southampton’s recent scalps include Man City, Watford and the beleaguered Norwich, alongside a credible point at Goodison Park.
The sustained form of Danny Ings and Stuart Armstrong has been a significant factor in this accomplishment for the Saints. In particular, Ings has shone brightly, having registered 19 goals in the league this season at an impressive 129 minutes per goal (source: BBC Sport).
As for the Red Devils, Solskjaer has endured mockery and cynicism during his tenure but he has stuck resolutely to his values and his endeavour looks likely to be rewarded with a top four finish and Champions League berth. There has been a collective effort from the United players in the last few months, with players such as Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and new signing Bruno Fernandes all making the headlines.
It will be a tough test for the Saints but there will be some confidence amidst the ranks given their away performances this season. Here’s three of the biggest opposition threats from Manchester United: