Southampton will never get a better chance to beat United

Published by on May 16, 2017

Manchester United officially have nothing to play for in the Premier League after their continued exile from the top four was confirmed with a defeat at Tottenham.

This is almost entirely Jose Mourinho’s doing. A matter of weeks ago, when the Red Devils might well have still made the Champions League, the Portuguese made the conscious decision to put all his proverbial eggs in the Europa League basket. It remains to be seen whether that will pay off with a victory over Ajax in the final.

For Southampton, meanwhile, they won’t find a better chance to beat United for a long time. Mourinho’s men have gone four games without a win, but he is unlikely to risk many of his key players in order to arrest that slump.

United’s 7/4 price, therefore, comes with a risk, but it is ultimately a game they should be winning. Southampton have won just one of their last six – a tricky run including games against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.

In their last nine meetings, United have won five, losing two, and drawing the other two. That doesn’t reveal too much about this encounter, which is bound to have a slightly underwhelming end-of-season touch to it.

Marcus Rashford is United’s favourite to score first at 15/8, but as he is likely to start the Europa League final, Mourinho may well confine him to the bench again. Wayne Rooney is perhaps the more likely to come in at 2/1 following his goal against Spurs, and it could well be one of his final acts for the club.