By 90Min
September 22, 2017

When it comes to opening a new Premier League campaign you won't find many starts better than Manchester United's, who are undefeated in their first five games, scoring 16 goals and only conceding two.

Jose Mourinho's men will look to build on a great start to the season with a win at 2016/17 EFL Cup final opponents Southampton, United seeing off the Saints 3-2 that day after goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

United's front line is now lead by Romelu Lukaku, who's scored five goals in as many games, with the Belgian proving exceptional value for money in the goals department as Mourinho's side continue to gel and pick up impressive results.

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Mauricio Pellegrino and Southampton have had a bit more of a mixed bag, currently sat ninth in the league table, and the Saints will be looking to string together a few more wins after last week's triumph at Crystal Palace.

Pellegrino will be looking for his side to mount a credible Europa League challenge this season and their start hasn't put such a goal out of reach.

Southampton will be after a little more consistency as they look to really push on this year, and a result against title favourites United would prove a great platform to build on.


Classic Encounter

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February of this year is about as far as you need to go for a thrilling contest between these two sides. In this great match, Mourinho's United lifted the EFL Cup trophy after a 3-2 victory over the Saints at Wembley.

Goals at the start and tail-end of the contest provided by none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic gifted United the cup on the day, with Southampton's own forward Manolo Gabbiadini also scoring a brace at 2-0 down to bring the match on the verge of extra time.

But Zlatan's 87th-minute headed winner gave the win to United, picking up their second trophy of the season after triumphing in the Community Shield.


Form


United have been graced with a near flawless start to the campaign - a tricky 2-2 hiccup at Stoke the only dropping of points - and have continued to look a terrifying threat in the opponents' final third, with a number of players getting involved in the goals, even from the bench.

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With Romelu Lukaku sitting joint top of the scorers table with five and Henrikh Mkhitaryan topping the league assists chart, United possess a great attacking threat, providing plenty of headaches for Saints boss Pellegrino going into Saturday's meeting.

Saints have had a mixed start to the campaign, with their one defeat coming against Watford two weeks ago, also picking up two draws and two wins, and with Europa League ambitions Pellegrino will be hoping his side can make St Mary's more of a fortress as they seek to climb the league standings.


Team News


United still face lengthy spells out for the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo with ligament issues, but Paul Pogba (hamstring) is the most notable absentee. Marcus Rashford may also miss starting Saturday's tie with a minor knock of his own.

With a number of players rested during the week, Mourinho's side should feel fresh, fit and firing for Saturday.

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For Saints fans, it will be welcome news to hear that Virgil van Dijk may make his return to the starting lineup, with Matt Targett (ankle) set to miss out.

Despite the Dutchman's sights being set on leaving the club only a matter of weeks ago, it will be a welcome sight for Southampton if he can return to the dominating form he showed last season.

Predicted Southampton XI: Forster, Cedric, Yoshida, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Romeu, Lemina, Tadic, Davies, Redmond, Gabbiadini


Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind, Fellaini, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Lukaku


Prediction

Admittedly, it is hard to see beyond a United win on Saturday, especially with the Saints' lack of goals over the first fixtures of the campaign, and United's attacking threat.

But Southampton will certainly prove difficult to break down and frustrate United should they opt not to take the game to their visitors.

But with Mourinho's men in high-flying form against a not too impressive Southampton side, the attacking power of the Portuguese's team could prove too much for Pellegrino's club on the day, giving United another three points in their title march.

Prediction: Southampton 0-2 Manchester United

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