Midfield key for Saints success
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Southampton kick off a run of three games in six days with a trip to Old Trafford tonight to take on a revitalised Manchester United.

Whilst the hosts have won their last five games in all competitions, the Saints also head into the fixture in good form having lost just once since the restart.

And having already beaten one team from Manchester in recent matches, Saints defender Jack Stephens insists they have nothing to fear ahead of taking on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

He told the Daily Echo: “They have had some really good results since the break but then they’ve got some brilliant players, so they are always likely to pick up results.

“On their day they can beat anyone in this league and we know we have to go there with the right attitude and the right mindset.

“We’ll have to give it our all and if we do that we’ll have a great chance.

“We are on a good run, three unbeaten, and we want to keep this going for as long as possible. We know it’s going to be a tough game at Old Trafford, but we are full of confidence.”

Midfield Battle

A key area of the pitch will be in midfield, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side having to contend with the impressive Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes partnership.

Fernandes has had a huge impact since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January, scoring seven goals and assisting six in his ten Premier League appearances for Man United to date.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse could be given the task of trying to contain United’s attacking threat from midfield, although an impressive display from Oriol Romeu against Everton last time out could see him keep his place in the starting line-up.

A key attribute Hasenhuttl has brought to the Saints has been their hard-working ethos in midfield, which has been evident in either holding strong opponents at bay (Manchester City) or completely dominating others (Watford, Everton), and it will be key once again if they are to get a result at Old Trafford.

The 'Greenwood' Factor

Another factor in tonight’s Premier League clash could how the Saints contain Mason Greenwood, with the teenager in fine form since Project Restart got underway.

The youngster is relishing his chance in the United starting eleven and has shown his capability of scoring with both feet in recent games.

Consequently, he presents a rare dilemma for opposing defenders as you’re not sure which foot to show him onto in front of goal.

Ryan Bertrand will be hoping he can come up with a solution, with the full-back hoping that his experience can help his task in containing the teenager.

And Stephens says the Saints won’t approach dealing with the forward any different to how they normally prepare for games.

“Like any of our opposition’s players, we will always look at clips before the game to see who we are up against and to assess their strengths and weaknesses,” Saints’ defender added.

“Greenwood will be no different. We’ll look at him and we’ll look at the rest of their players and see where we can go.”

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