The legendary Jose Mourinho introduced himself in the English Premier League as the new Manchester United coach with 3-1 victory over Bournemouth in the Red Devils’ season-opening EPL fixture. Man United’s World-record signing Paul Pogba didn’t make his debut in that game, but the other big-name summer signing in Zlatan Ibrahimović was on the field, and he capped his larger-than-life reputation by scoring one of United’s three goals. Up next for the Red Devils is an enticing Friday Night clash against Southampton, a game that is likely to see Pogba make his highly-anticipated first start for United since leaving Juventus barely two weeks ago. Can United crown the auspicious occasion with a win, or will the Saints steal away the Thunder from the Red Devils? Find about all that and much more in the online soccer betting preview below.
Analyzing The Southampton at Manchester United Premier League Soccer Free Picks
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
When: Friday, August 19, 2016 3:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Soccer Line: Man United Win -225, Draw +345, Southampton Win +600
Why Bet on Manchester United
Pogba will undoubtedly be the headline-grabber on Friday and every pundit will be busy Tweeting just about anything about his debut, but don’t be shocked if Ibrahimović grabs the limelight at the end of the day. As is comprehensively detailed in this article, Ibrahimović will have more than enough reasons to be motivated for a big showing, possibly with one or two goals to his name in his official home debut at Manchester United. Pogba and Ibrahimović aside, Mourinho will—as usual—be focused on keeping United in winning ways and possibly staying atop the league at the end of the weekend. To do so, United will need its offense to outfox the challenging Saints’ backline. Fortunately, United is spoilt for talent in the offense with the likes of Ibrahimović, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Memphis Depay. Meanwhile, England’s best goalkeeper David DeGea and new signing Eric Bailly (United’s Man of the Match against Bournemouth) should be very capable of handling whatever is thrown at them by Southampton’s offense.
Why Bet on Southampton
While United will be concentrating a lot on Pogba’s debut, Southampton will be focusing more on finding the right combinations for the team after the Saints saw several offseason changes take place in the team. Besides having a new coach in Claude Puel, the Saints are dealing with a number of new faces in offense and defense while players like Southampton captain Jose Fonte are being linked with new transfer moves, something that could limit their full efficacy in this game. Even so, Southampton had a solid preseason, winning all its four games prior to the season-opening 1-1 home draw against Watford last week. The Saints also have talented players on both sides of the ball to make a game out of the Mourinho’s boys. Add to the fact that Saints haven’t lost at Old Trafford since 2014, we don’t need to emphasize Southampton’s capacity to upset United in this game.
Man United vs. Southampton Expert Picks and Predictions
Obviously, United looks to be the better team in terms of talent and playing at home under Mourinho with stars like Zlatan, Rooney and Pogba will make them really tough to beat. Nonetheless, the Saints have won their last last two trips to united, recording replica 1-0 victories in those two games. In their last five overall games, the Saints have also split two wins apiece with Man United, with the fifth game ending in a draw. With that considered, Southampton could easily fight for a draw or even deliver an upset in this game. All in all, my prediction is that United will win this game, but it won’t be a shellacking as many people expect it to be.