To be played on Sunday 11th May 2014 at 15:00. Venue: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton.
Odds: Southampton 13/8, Draw 5/2, Manchester United 9/5
Last season: 2-3
Preview & injury news
For one side it has been a season of promise and progress, for the other it has been a difficult season which some will say is a fall from grace. Southampton have been impressive this season and have won many plaudits, as well as shocking a few of the big sides along the way by taking points off them. They will finish eighth in the Premier League this season, and possibly as little as five points behind last season's champions if they win this weekend. Their form has been patchy recently but they have managed to win their last two Premier League games.
A win for United could lift them up into sixth place on goal difference if Tottenham lose at home to Aston Villa in what looks to be Ryan Giggs's last game as Interim manager with Louis Van Gaal saying he would love to take over at Old Trafford. What is unclear though is whether it will be the last game as a player for the Welshman. United have won two and lost one of the three games he's had in charge, all of those games have been at home so it will be a bit of a new experience for him in the away dugout.
On the injury front, Kelvin Davis is a long-term absentee with a back problem for the home side, as is Jay Rodriguez as he continues his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury. There are question marks over the fitness of Gaston Ramirez as he has had an ankle problem over the past few weeks whilst Maya Yoshida is likely to miss out with a knee injury.
For Man United, Phil Jones was the latest player to head into the treatment room after picking up a shoulder injury in the 3-1 win over Hull City in midweek, a game which Robin Van Persie returned with a goal after a knee problem. Jonny Evans has trouble with his ankle and is likely to miss out whilst there are still question marks over the fitness of Wayne Rooney after missing the last couple of games. Anders Lindegaard has been ill but could be part of the squad, whilst Rafael has had a problem with his hamstring recently.
Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League this season:
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||FW||17||29||2,448|
|Robin van Persie||Man Utd||FW||12||20||1,516|
|Danny Welbeck||Man Utd||FW||9||24||1,369|
Their average possession statistics:
And the amount of clean sheets they've kept this season:
5 players to watch
Adam Lallana - Could this be Lallana's last game for his club? He has been strongly linked with a move away from the Southampton, with Liverpool seemingly the likely destination according to reports. He has had a terrific season for the Saints though, and has hurt several teams with his creativity and dynamism. He's also likely to be part of England's World Cup squad so don't be surprised if he shows why this weekend.
Ryan Giggs - Giggs hasn't been drawn on any decision surrounding his playing future, but if he decides to play himself against Southampton, it could be the last time he's seen playing for Manchester United. If he doesn't play it will be interesting to see his reaction come the end of the game, or whether there will be any hints of a farewell.
Rickie Lambert - Another player who is likely to be considered for England's World Cup squad and will be keen to put in one final reminder to Roy Hodgson ahead of the summer. He's had another pretty productive season and could give the United back line problems. Will he do just that on Sunday?
Nemanja Vidic - This is one man who is definitely leaving Manchester United after this game, but is still a very good centre-back who is adored by his fans. He could be in for a difficult afternoon against a very creative Southampton side, and Vidic will be looking to make sure the side stays solid at the back.
Morgan Schneiderlin - He was loosely linked with a move to Old Trafford not so long ago. He's a commanding figure in the middle of the park and it won't be surprising if he is on the ball quite frequently. If he puts in a good performance it is going to be very difficult for United to establish themselves in this contest.
Earlier on in the season
Manchester United 1-1 Southampton, October 2013
It was another difficult day for David Moyes at Old Trafford as his side came close to what would've been a pressure relieving victory against Southampton. Robin Van Persie opened the scoring for the hosts when Adnan Januzaj threaded through a terrific ball to Wayne Rooney, who was denied by Artur Boruc, only for Van Persie to follow up and finish. Van Persie and Rooney both went close again as they hit the woodwork in a game where the visitors dominated possession. It looked as if United were going to hold on for a win until Dejan Lovren headed a corner towards goal, where Adam Lallana was on hand to find the net to give the Saints a share of the spoils.