As the 2016-17 Premier League season draws closer and closer to its end, Southampton welcome Manchester United to St. Mary's Stadium later today. While Jose Mourinho and his players cannot do better or worse than sixth place this season, Southampton will be determined to get the three points today as they look to tighten their grip on an eight place finish this season.
Both teams are currently struggling for form at the moment as they have each won just one game from their last five matches in all competitions, drawing two and losing two. While the two teams have the same record from their last five matches, Claude Puel's team could have a slight advantage.
Southampton head into this fixture on the back of a hard fought 2-1 away win against Middlesbrough while Manchester United are currently on a two game losing streak in the Premier League at the moment. Also the fact that Mourinho mentioned on a number of occasions that he is prioritising the Europa League in order to get into the Champions League next season might work in the favour of Southampton.
However a cause for concern for Southampton despite Manchester United's bad form in the Premier League is that they have never beaten the Red Devils in their last five home Premier League games with their last defeat at Southampton coming in 2003. So it will be interesting to see how this match pans out given their past record and Manchester United's current form in the Premier League.
Manchester United's injury list is the same from last week which includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Timo Fosu-Mensah still injured. Mourinho will have Marouane Fellaini back in the squad after the Belgian completed his domestic ban. Paul Pogba will also be out for the second match in a row on compassionate leave following the death of his father.
As for Southampton, club Captain Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy have returned to training but won't be ready in time to make an appearance. However, Charlie Austin could be in line to make his first start since December after he recovered from a shoulder injury.
During his pre-match interview Southampton manager Puel said he was hoping that win against Middlesbrough can help them finish their season on a strong note.
"The last result away against Middlesbrough allowed us the possibility to finish strong in the Premier League. A lot of people ask me what the possibilities are for this team, and it's about having a good focus about the game (on Wednesday), not having to focus on relegation, Europa League games or different things, and I'm happy with all the work we can do on the pitch and in the training sessions," BBC quoted Puel as saying.
As for Mourinho, he has found it difficult to balance all his fixtures this season and rest all his players at the same time but he is still hoping for a strong finish despite the hectic schedule.
"Now it's time to play two good games to close the Premier League and reach the Europa League final in the best shape that we can. It's true that the calendar has been hectic over the last two months, but we have to push hard now to try to win the three remaining games. We really want to," Mourinho said.
Where to watch
The Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United is set to start at 7:45pm local time, 12:15am IST and 2:45pm EST.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV: Star Sports Select HD1. Live streaming: Hotstar
UK: TV: Sky Sports 1/HD. Live streaming: Sky Go
USA: TV: NBCSN, Telemundo. Live streaming: NBC Sports Live
Africa: TV: SuperSport 3. Live streaming: SuperSport live
Middle East: TV: beIN Sports Arabia. Live streaming: beIN Sports connect