Manchester United V. Southampton
As a Manchester United fan since I was born in 2002, this feels like a pick with value at -110. This is a Man U team playing at Old Trafford and standing confidently in 3rd place versus a very bottom of the table Southampton side. The reds remain on a redemption quest after an embarrassing 0-7 loss against Liverpool which I somehow watched 75 minutes of. Coming off of a massive 4-1 win in the Europa League against a respectable Real Betis side, sitting at 5th place in La Liga, it’s evident that the reds’ emotions are running high. I think there’s more than enough energy in Manchester for me to back the red devils to surge to a multi-goal victory.
Setting my biases aside, Man U has been one of the most consistent English sides. Considering that they had consecutive losses against Brighton and Brentford to start the 22-23 campaign, Erik ten Hag has completely turned things around, figured out his tactics, and won a trophy in the meantime. At home Man U has a record of 9-2-1 (W-D-L) in the Premier League. In their total number of league games, Southampton is 6-3-16. Of these matches, they are 4-0-9 in away fixtures. 3 of these 4 wins are against Leicester, Bournemouth, and Everton who are all at risk of relegation and one loss away from potentially being in that zone. Their 4th away win is over Chelsea because only a March Madness bracket that was written on paper could’ve predicted the blues season.
Man U has outscored opponents 24-8 at home while Southampton has a 3rd league lowest goal differential of -21. The red devils can easily score upwards of 3 goals in such an attractive matchup and have the ability to rebuild their own deflated goal differential. ETH has enforced the plan of playing one game at a time rather than dreaming of a triple, or even quadruple, in trophies this year. I see no reason why this game should be taken lightly by the Manchester gaffer, and I expect him to put out an admirable squad for the match. If I wasn’t in NC I would place this bet up to -125 because of how much contrast there is in these two teams seasons.
Pick: Manchester United -1.5 (v Southampton)