Hasenhuttl looks forward to United test
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is looking forward to seeing how far his side have come since Project Restart ahead of the trip to Old Trafford tonight.

The Saints boss has described Manchester United as the best team in the Premier League since action got back underway, and with 13 points out of 15, there are few who could argue with him.

Man United have also become the first side in Premier League history to have won four consecutive games by three goals or more, highlighting the test that the Saints will have to face.

In comparison, Hasenhuttl’s men have taken 10 points from their first five games themselves – including a 1-0 win over Manchester City – and the Austrian is keen to see how his side fare against their Champions League-chasing opponents.

“It’s definitely a chance to show up and show ourselves how good we are against such a team,” he told southamptonfc.com.

“They have an unbelievable run. They have fantastic quality and have made a good turnaround – I think the best team after the lockdown.

“They have taken the most points so far, so we face a very good team, but we also have good stats after the break.

“We know about their offensive qualities and with [Bruno] Fernandes, they have a new player in the centre. It is a different team to the one we last faced here, and definitely a better one.

“It will cost us a lot of energy to prepare the right game plan. Hopefully, we will go there with the right plan in the pocket.”

The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the end of August, with Jannik Verstergaard’s first Saints goal cancelling out Dan James’ opener.

However, this fixture last year provided a five-goal thriller which United edged. Yann Valery’s first goal for the Saints proved to be one to remember, only for goals from Andreas Pereira and Romelu Lukaku to turn the game in the hosts’ favour.

A trademark James Ward-Prowse free-kick looked to have earned the Saints a point in the 75th minute, but Lukaku struck late on to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men a 3-2 win.