The Star’s United writer James Shield analyses the form book surrounding the contest and some of the key figures set to be involved.
The Probable Teams
Southampton - McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond, Adams, Ings.
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Sheffield United - Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Stevens, Baldock, Norwood, Fleck, Berge, McGoldrick, McBurnie.
Peter Bankes, who averages 4.24 cautions per game so far this season, takes charge of United for the first time since their 2-0 win over Aston Villa in December. John Fleck and Oliver Norwood were among the four players he cautioned during that match. Bankes, from Merseyside, will be assisted by Marc Perry and Timothy Wood while Australian Jarred Gillet is the VAR official.
The Last Time Out
Oli McBurnie had a goal disallowed following a VAR review before Moussa Djenepo scored the only goal of the game midway through the second-half of September’s match at Bramall Lane. United captain Billy Sharp, a former Southampton player, was dismissed with only five minutes remaining for a challenge on Stuart Armstrong soon after stepping off the bench.
The History Lesson
This will be the 56th meeting between these two clubs, with United winning 25 and drawing 13 of those. Their last win over Southampton came in December 2014, when they triumphed 1-0 in a League Cup tie at Bramall Lane. However, they have faced their latest opponents only once since then. That was the first time United had played Southampton in five years, when they triumphed 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium.
The Form Book
Southampton are unbeaten in six outings, beating Watford and Manchester City before draws against Everton, Manchester United and Brighton. They dispatched AFC Bournemouth 2-1 last time out. United make the long journey south on the back of defeats to Leicester City and Everton. Those came following wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
The match is broadcast on Sky Sports Mix, kick-off 4pm.