IT’S TWO wins from two for Jose Mourinho and his seemingly rejuvenated Manchester United side.
A thumping 3-1 win at Bouremouth followed the Community Shield victory over Leicester – and now Southampton are next on their hit-list on Friday.
United backers should be in relatively safe territory for this clash. The club have won 16 of their last 20 meetings with the Saints – a record that stretches back to 2001.
One of their few defeats did indeed come last time the two sides met in January, when a late Charlie Austin goal at Old Trafford piled more pressure on former United boss Louis Van Gaal.
That was then, however. It was before the arrival of Jose Mourinho. Before the additions of Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and, most importantly, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahomovic.
It’s early days but it’s probably safe to say United have bought well over the summer. The club has invested wisely – intent on not repeating the same mistakes of season past – and a focused Jose Mourinho at the helm could be just what they were screaming out for.
A recurring problem for Southampton over the last few seasons has been a task of trying to keep hold of their star men.
Whether it’s their players, staff or manager, there always seems to somebody of significance leaving the club for ventures new.
Previously the team has coped well with that. They had a brilliant 2014/15 campaign, managing to finish seventh and qualify for Europe, but the squad soon became victim to preying eyes from bigger clubs.
Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lalana all moved to Liverpool the following season but Southampton, despite doom and gloom amongst the fans, managed to go one better the next year.
They improved their league position to finish sixth but they fell victim to Liverpool again just a few weeks ago when star man Sadio Mane made a £30 million switch to Merseyside.
Talisman manager Ronald Koeman also left for Merseyside – this time to take the vacant job at Everton.
Saints splashed £11 million on Nathan Redmond from Norwich and Alex McCarthy from Crystal Palace – plus Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich.
But the new signings could not prevent them dropping vital points at home in a 1-1 draw with Watford at home.
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