Mark Lawrenson is predicting that Manchester United will edge to a 2-1 win against Southampton at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw with Burnley in their mid-week Premier League clash despite Paul Pogba scoring his first goal since August to break the deadlock.
Ralf Rangnick’s side have endured a challenging start to February after Manchester United lost to Middlesbrough on penalties in the FA Cup before their stalemate with Burnley.
Manchester United are in sixth position in the Premier League table and a point behind fourth-placed West Ham in the race to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Although Rangnick’s arrival at Manchester United hasn’t been impactful so far, the 20-time English champions are unbeaten in five of their last six league games.
Southampton are 11 points behind Manchester United but the Saints were impressive 3-2 winners against Tottenham Hotspur in north London on Wednesday night.
Goals from Armando Broja, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Che Adams helped Southampton to come from behind to secure three points at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to secure a narrow win against Southampton despite the Saints’ impressive comeback victory in the English capital.
“United are still very up and down during games and we saw again in their draw against Burnley that they don’t seem able to play well for 90 minutes – they only seem to manage it for one half at the moment,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“I do think they were unlucky not to beat the Clarets, though. It’s not even the case they are not taking their chances because they did that at Turf Moor, but VAR ruled two of their goals out. I can understand why Rangnick was so frustrated – especially at seeing Josh Brownhill’s own goal disallowed.
“United can argue the big decisions went against them but they should still be beating the Premier League’s bottom side anyway. The bigger issue is I am still waiting to see a performance from them under Rangnick that tells me they are on their way, or up and running, under him.
“They need one of those soon so he can point to it as an example of the levels they need to be at every time, but obviously he would settle for a win this weekend however it comes.
“It will be interesting to see how United get on against Southampton because it won’t be one-way traffic. I can see Armando Broja causing the United defence some problems and so will James Ward-Prowse with his set-pieces.”
Southampton played out a 1-1 draw with Manchester United back in August when Fred scored a first-half own goal before Mason Greenwood equalised after the break.
Manchester United were 9-0 winners against nine-man Southampton in this fixture last season.
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Source: Sport Review