Manchester United host Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday in the Premier League, knowing that a win could see them open up a four point gap between themselves and third-placed Chelsea.
It has been a strange few weeks for Manchester United. Two consecutive 2-2 draws against so called 'lower opposition' means that the gap to rivals Manchester City has increased, while the gap between themselves and the rest of the chasing pack has become smaller.
While the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not had it's desired effect, the form of Jesse Lingard has been massive for United in the past few games, and the Englishman will be need to continue his good form if his side are to take all three points on Saturday.
As for the visitors, the news of Virgil van Dijk's transfer to Liverpool will be music to their ears. After finally putting an end to the lengthy transfer sage, they will be hoping that they can kick on and salvage what has been quite a poor season so far.
These two sides met early on in the 2012/13 Premier League season. United traveled to St.Mary's with Dutch striker Robin van Persie in red hot form.
Despite the away side being the favourites for the game, it was the home side who took the lead early in the first half. In the 16th minute, Jason Puncheon crossed the ball in and Rickie Lambert rose high over Rafael to plant his header past
It was the away side who pressed on for their second, however it was the home side who struck next through a header from Morgan Schneiderlin. Despite conceding, United continued to push on, and in the 69th minute they were handed a lifeline.
Referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty, which van Persie subsequently - and surprisingly - missed. United continued to probe and it wasn't long before they got their equaliser. It was Van Persie in the thick of the action again, when with three minutes to go he prodded the ball into the net to bring the scores level again.
The drama didn't end their however, as in added on time, van Persie sealed his hat-trick with a beautiful header past Kelvin Davis.
United went on to win the league that season, with the Saints finishing 14th.
Marcos Rojo is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial are also doubts for the game after both picking up knocks against Leicester City last week.
Man United defender Marcus Rojo suspended for Southampton after picking up 5th yellow card.— Football Bang (@football_bang) December 27, 2017
Didn't play in Premier League until 28th November.
5 appearances, 5 yellow cards. pic.twitter.com/dBVNjoqXeI
For the Saints, Cedric Soares still remains sidelined. Striker Charlie Austin is both suspended and injured.
Ryan Bertrand is a doubt for the clash at Old Trafford, after he missed the Boxing Day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea - Young, Jones, Lindelof, Shaw - Matic, Pogba - Mata, Lingard, Rashford - Lukaku.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Forster - Stephens, Yoshida, Hoedt, Targett - Romeu, Ward-Prowse - Redmond, Davis, Boufal - Gabbiadini.
The Saints were unorganised and sloppy against Spurs last time out, and a big United win is expected.
Manchester United 3-0 Southampton