After the excitement of Tuesday night’s comeback at Bloomfield Road, attention turns to the FA Cup.
Our victory over Liverpool in the last round may have been marred in controversy but was a wholly satisfying affair as is any occasion when we get one over the Scousers.
Despite Southampton being a league one outfit and the tie lacking the excitement of the Liverpool game, we will need to be on our toes. The humbling defeat against West Ham is an all to recent reminder of taking opponents for granted and will be something we aim to avoid a repeat of.
Team News: Team rotation cost us against West Ham but there will be some enforced changes for this game. Having announced he will retire at the end of this season, Edwin Van Der Sar will not travel with the team meaning Anders Lindegaard may make his first team debut or Tomasz Kuszczak may deputise.
Rafael will miss the game as he is still suffering the effects of the concussion he suffered on Tuesday, Patrice Evra has suffered a family bereavement and Rio Ferdinand is unlikely to play if he has recovered from his groin injury so expect to see Fabio, John O’Shea and either Smalling or Jonny Evans or at a stretch both.
In midfield Michael Carrick trained yesterday having missed the trip to Blackpool with an ankle injury and could start whilst up front, in form Dimitar Berbatov is likely to be rested leaving places for Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen to compete for.
Southampton on the other hand have two major concerns with captain Dean Hammond struggling with a calf injury whilst bright youngster Adam Lallana has missed their last 2 games with a knee injury.
Form: United as you will know are undefeated in the league and have lost just once this season to West Ham. The victory over Blackpool was only our 3rd domestic away win though and our form on the road still raises questions especially with our first half performance at Bloomfield Road in mind. Southampton have 4 wins in their last 6 games but have failed to register a win in their last two with a draw and a loss. In this 6 games they handed Oldham a 6-0 spanking with our own Ben Amos being between the sticks.
Southampton last 6: WWWWDL
United last 6: WWWDWW
Last meeting: United played Southampton in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in 2008/2009 winning 3-0, the goals that day came from Welbeck, Nani and Gibson.
History: United are on a 5 matching winning run against the Saints in all competitions and we have won 56 of our 109 meetings. Our last 3 meetings in the FA Cup see us ahead with an aggregate score of 9-0.
Bar an almighty f*ck up like against West Ham, I shouldn’t expect Southampton to cause us too much of a problem. Haven’t seen much of Southampton this season and when I did it was Adam Lallana who caught my eye not Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (not even sure if he was playing!) so the fact he won’t be playing doesn’t bode well for them. Many people will be watching the Oxlade-Chamberlain as he has been linked with the club and it will be good to gauge him against the big boys. I would hope some youngsters of our own are on display in the game but with or without, I’ll take a comfortable United win.
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