I wasn’t impressed by Manchester United last weekend, a defensive mix up, a scuffed shot that bounced on Rooney’s head and poor goalkeeper placement won the game for them. All in all I though it was a slight improvement on last season but nothing has made me think they will win the title.
Southampton did everything right last weekend, apart from score the winner. They had 24 shots, with 6 on target. They only allowed Watford 5 attempts of which only 1 was on target, and that found the back of the net.
My goal expectancies for this match have it as Manchester United 1.34 v 0.93 Southampton. When I translate that into odds I have the home side priced at 2.17. I don’t see why Manchester United should be priced at 1.50 with the bookmakers. Last season they were 2.09 to win this match, they lost it 1-0. I don’t think the gap between these two sides has increased by almost 20% in fewer than seven months.
From an Asian Handicapping point of view we are able to get a great price on Southampton +1. This means that for us to lose money Manchester United have to win by two clear goals. Would you back a Mourinho side to do that? I can see a similar scenario to Southampton’s last two visits here, with the away side looking solid defensively, Manchester United struggling to create chances and ultimately going on to lose the game.
A key thing to look out for tonight is the Manchester United shot statistics, last season they averaged 13.05 shots per game at Old Trafford, whilst only conceding 8.32 against them. They even managed to turn 36% of their shots on target into goals, which is above the league average. My model is based around on those numbers and I don’t see how Manchester United can improve on them. They overachieved defensively, by only allowing 25.95% of the SOTs they faced to hit the target, whilst only 21.95% of these ended up as goals. I doubt Manchester United will be able to replicate being the second best home side season and I fully expect them to pick up less than the 41 points they got at Old Trafford last season.
BACK SOUTHAMPTON +1 ASIAN HANDICAP at 2.12 (888 Sport)