Man Utd v Southampton Betting Predictions | EFL Cup FinalPublished February 23, 2017
Manchester United come into this huge game at Wembley with one advantage, Jose Mourinho. Their manager has a great track record in finals in every country he has coached in, but the EFL Cup has special meaning to the United boss, winning it in 2005, his first season with Chelsea, 2007 and 2015.
The Red Devils have struggled since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but they won the FA Cup last season before Mourinho clinched the Community Shield in the summer. Completing this mini treble will mean a lot to him as he looks to mark his first season with silverware and success.
Southampton performed excellently in the semi final second leg against Liverpool, holding tight defensively before counter attacking to score through Shane Long in the dying minutes. Under Claude Puel, they are struggling in the Premier League betting season, but have used this as a welcome distraction. Puel will look to play on the counter attack again here, but the emphasis of his team has changed since new signing Manolo Gabbiadini arrived. While the Italian is not particularly quick or strong, his positional sense and movement make him a real threat. The link between him and pass master James Ward-Prowse, who is also a set piece specialist, will be key if the Saints are to genuinely compete in the game, but if Oriol Romeu can control the tempo when he has the ball at the base of the midfield and release Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic in space, Southampton have a chance.
But most of the time Mourinho steps into the dugout into a final, he sets his stall out well. Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera may start the game in disciplined fashion, but once again the key man will be Henrikh Mkitaryan. Once again, it’ll be his job to create chances, and he’ll be able to roam into space, hurting the Saints defence, which will likely be without Virgil van Dijk. Control and calm os key for United here and they should edge away with the game, even if Southampton get on the scoresheet.