Manchester United will leapfrog Southampton and move up to a season-high of third place in the Premier League if they can triumph on the South coast on Monday evening.
The Saints are in the midst of their first really testing spell of the season, not just in the sides they are coming up against, but Ronald Koeman is seeing his resources become stretched as injuries begin to kick in ahead of a busy festive period.
That factor arguably decided their last game as Toby Alderweireld came off with an injury, allowing Arsenal to take full advantage. The 1-0 defeat made it just one point from a possible nine, and if they lose this more questions will be asked of Southampton’s credibility at top four contenders.
Recent weeks have seen a massive improvement in Man Utd’s fortunes as they have won four games in a row to lift themselves right into the Champions League mix, with Louis van Gaal’s infamous philosophies appearing to now be making their mark on the squad.
But they surely cannot rely on David De Gea to preserve many more victories this season, as his heroics were enough to avoid the Red Devils dropping points last time out against Stoke City, although the influence of the previously maligned Marouane Fellaini cannot be understated.
Alderweireld is likely to be missing for Southampton while Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork are definitely out. Despite that, Dusan Tadic will be fit to play.
The away side are still without winger Angel Di Maria, but Wayne Rooney has overcome a knee injury.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Southampton