December 8,2014 Monday, 4:00
6/4 Manchester United
5/2 Draw Odds
If your player scores the first goal of the match and then scores another, We'll double your 1st goalscorer price. If your player then goes on to score a hat-trick, We'll treble it. Cash Bets Only.
Jack Cork Southampton midfielder has been ruled out for six weeks with an ankle injury while Toby Alderweireld is a doubt with a hamstring problem. Monday's match will also come too soon for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, but Dusan Tadic has overcome a knock. United captain Wayne Rooney will be fit to face Saints after a knee injury. But Angel Di Maria's hamstring problem will see him miss a second consecutive match.
It was billed as crunch time for Southampton, the crucible in which their mettle would be tested. Cue lots of knowing looks and cries of "I told you so" after defeats by Manchester City and Arsenal. Ronald Koeman was honest enough to acknowledge that Southampton were comfortably beaten by City at St Mary's, but was also correct in saying that had he been able to keep 11 players on the pitch at the Emirates, Southampton might well have earned a valuable point against Arsenal. I was convinced before the season started that Southampton would have another good year despite the summer sales, and I still think a top-four finish is possible. They may need some better luck than they had at Arsenal to achieve that, but why not? It would be massively refreshing to see a club go from League One to the Champions League in just four years. Manchester United have exactly the same goal as Southampton. Louis van Gaal has acknowledged that winning the title is really only a statistical possibility, so a return to the top four is their aim. In fact, it's more than an aim, it's their whole business plan. United are not a club designed to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous failure two seasons running. The two Dutch managers have history. Koeman was assistant to Van Gaal at Barcelona; and later when Koeman was coach at Ajax, Van Gaal joined as technical director. It was then that they fell out, resulting in Van Gaal referring to Koeman as weak and "that boy" in his autobiography. Now Koeman says there is "less ice" in their relationship. Maybe, but you get the sense that if Southampton win this game, there just might be a bottle on ice to celebrate.