Southampton face Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening in the FA Youth Cup. Here's our comprehensive match preview of the tie.
What’s at stake?
Victory in Manchester would see Saints progress into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup – a stage they failed to reach last term.
They come into the game off the back of a 1-1 league draw away to Aston Villa at Bodymoor Heath, in which Ben Rowthorn’s early strike was eventually cancelled out by the hosts.
United are historically the most successful side in the FA Youth Cup, having won the competition 10 times in the past.
They have progressed to the fifth round for the last three years running, but have failed to reach the quarter-final stage.
In the league they currently sit second in the Under-18 Premier League North, just one point behind their local rivals Manchester City.
Southampton: Manager Craig Fleming may well be forced into changes due to Southampton Under-23s’ Premier League 2 fixture against Sunderland on Friday, which saw a number of his players included in the squad. Dan N’Lundulu and Kieran Freeman are also unavailable through injury.
Man United: United have a similar selection issue to Saints, as their Under-23s faced Chelsea in the Premier League 2 on Friday. Ro-Shaun Williams and midfielder Callum Gribbin sat that fixture out, so they look set to return to the line-up. Elsewhere, Kayne Diedrink-Roberts is unavailable as he has joined AFC Bournemouth on a youth loan.
Southampton’s last five:
Aston Villa (a) D 1-1
Tottenham (h) L 2-6
Chelsea (a) L 4-1
Swansea (a) D 1-1
Fulham (h) L 0-3
Man United’s last five:
Man City (h) D 1-1
Derby County (h) W 4-0
Liverpool (a) D 3-3
Newcastle (a) W 0-4
Blackburn (h) W 4-1
Last time out
United 1-0 Saints (30 April 2016)
The two sides last met back at the end of last season, when the south and north divisions of the Under-18 Premier League joined to face their respectively placed counterparts.
Attacking midfielder Indy Boonen’s 50-minute strike was enough to separate the two sides at Moss Lane, as United ran out 1-0 victors.
Did you know?
- Kieran McKenna was appointed manager of Manchester United Under-18s at the beginning of September; he previously managed the Tottenham youth side that knocked United out of last year’s FA Youth Cup.
- Saints recorded a 7-0 victory over Portsmouth at this stage of the FA Youth Cup in 2013. Sam Gallagher netted a second-half hat-trick in the game at St Mary's, while Jake Heskett bagged a brace and Niall Mason and Mark Irvine popped up with individual contributions.