Pick Manchester United Over Southampton in Week 15

Lee Phelps

Friday, December 5, 2014 7:42 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 7:42 PM UTC

Two disgruntled Dutch masters lock horns at Southampton's St Mary's stadium on Monday, so there may fireworks if their players take it on to the field. Our tipster is looking at the odds, stats and team news to get the best value betting picks.

Some old Dutch rivalries will be re-opened on Monday night as Ronald Koeman’s Southampton welcome Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United to the south coast. The one-time colleagues at Barcelona haven’t seen eye to eye since their days together at Ajax and both sides will be fighting in the manager’s image under the St Mary’s floodlights.


The upstarts from down South have had a rude awakening over the last two games, playing fairly well but losing 3-0 to the champions and then almost earning a draw against Arsenal. Alexis Sanchez 89th minute goal against 10 men undid all the great discipline and hard work they had put in.

Now a Manchester United side growing in confidence come to town and Saints’ injuries are growing. My theory in opposing them over these three games in the soccer odds was all based on fitness, it was Koeman himself who alerted us to fatigue setting in and there’s no let-up with City, Arsenal and now United inside eight days.

Now add Dusan Tadic, Jack Cork, Toby Alderweireld and Morgan Schneiderlin to the injury list and the task looks even harder. Tadic has been the fulcrum of their attacking plan, breaking up play and getting the ball to him is how they have been attacking. Schneiderlin has been their best player and Cork has been one of their most consistent performers.


Manchester United
The injury worries finally look to be easing slightly, van Gaal should have Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and James Wilson available for Monday's match at St Mary's.

Weekends have passed without Van Persie's overdue demotion but against Hull City and Stoke, Falcao and Wilson looked livelier and brighter than the Dutchman. Two seasons ago, Van Persie scored a dramatic hat-trick in his second United game at St Mary's, but he is no longer indispensable. Van Gaal could crowbar Van Persie and Falcao in up front together with Rooney in the hole, yet the United captain has reaffirmed his potency in a striker's role over the last month.

Away from the obvious scorers, Mata’s goals have earned United seven points this term and after two successive starts. Juan Mata appears to have finally hit his stride in a red shirt. The Spaniard even started to push through the middle of the pitch at the Britannia in the week as he looks to cement that playmaker role in the United midfield.

If Schneiderlin is missing, Mata could exploit the weakness in the Saints’ midfield, provided the ammunition for van Gaal’s chosen front two.


Soccer picks
Southampton will give everything to get at least a point in the Monday night game, but I’m not sure they will have enough stamina to maintain it throughout. Man U are riding the crest of a wave, even if it is a shaky ride, and expect them to have more energy in the final stages. For my soccer pick, I’m going for a straight forward Manchester United win here at 17/10.

Free soccer pick: Manchester United win 17/10

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