FRIDAY night fun at Old Trafford as Manchester United host Southampton. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) shares his best bets.
Manchester United v Southampton | Friday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Well this is fun isn’t it? Get out the office, head to the boozer with colleagues and then Premier League football comes on. Now that’s what I call a Happy Friday!
Fridays are brilliant. They’re full of hope, optimism and excitement. The Premier League have jumped on the back of that bonhomie by introducing a series of matches on a Friday night this season. It’s hard to have any qualms with that decision. Bring it on!
It seems fitting that the new era is ushered in at the home of the most successful club in the Premier League period, Manchester United. Not only do they bring a Theatre Of Dreams to the first Friday night they also bring an incredible storyline. Yes, will Paul Pogba play?
The world’s most expensive player has declared himself fit and his United career is about to start. Or rather, start again. This match feels like an event and the cast list of Mourinho, Pogba and Ibrahimovic give it the look of a blockbuster.
Of course though it’s a match, there’s another side lining up, and Southampton deserve respect. After all Saints won this fixture last season and finished just three points behind Manchester United in sixth place.
I very tentatively put up Southampton for relegation at a massive price in my ante-post piece so it would be absurd for me to get behind them here. Once again their assets were stripped over the summer and on top of key players leaving manager Ronald Koeman also departed.
Claude Puel is the new man at the helm and his competitive tenure began with a 1-1 home draw with Watford on Saturday. Hardly a dream start but let’s wait before we make grand proclamations about the new Saints era.
Southampton won this fixture last season in January but while they seem to have taken a step back Manchester United have made some significant improvements. That’s reflected in the odds for sure. Evens for United back in January, 4/9 best price here.
With the Community Shield in the bag and a comfortable win over Bournemouth to their name Manchester United fans will be expectant about Friday night and with Pogba’s possible debut it could be a special night.
All the hype and bluster may get to United but I very much doubt that and expect them to take three points here. I’m keen on Marathon’s Evens that we see exactly two or three goals in this fixture.
Factor in that United have a lot to prove before we can expect them to run away with games and that they’ve conceded against Leicester and Bournemouth and the quote of 2-3 looks on the mark. It’s paid out in two of the three matches that these sides have been involved with this season.
Manchester United v Southampton – Exactly 2-3 Goals (21/20 BetVictor)