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Southampton V Man Utd at St. Mary's Stadium : Match Preview

02 Sep 2012 09:48:23

Southampton V Man Utd at St. Mary's Stadium : Match Preview

Toffee time for Lallana Southampton midfielder 

Adam Lallana is looking to replicate the performance of Everton when they face Manchester United on Sunday. The Red Devils travel to Southampton on Sunday looking to pick up their second win of the season, following an opening weekend defeat to David Moyes' side at Goodison Park. Southampton are still without a point after defeats to Manchester City and Wigan but, despite being aware of the threat posed by United, Lallana believes the Saints can come out on top if they play like Everton did. He said: "You look around the pitch and they have got strength in every area, obviously (Wayne) Rooney was injured but (Robin) van Persie comes in. "The experience they have got; (Paul) Scholes, (Ryan) Giggs and (Rio) Ferdinand, the list is endless really. "I think if we concentrate on what we are good at, we are at home I think we have got a chance of getting a result. "I think Everton proved the other week that if you come out of the traps and press them and get the fans behind you then you can create chances and go on to win games. "I think we will play our own game...create chances and get crosses in the box and we have a good chance." The last time the two clubs met in a Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's Southampton were relegated to the Championship. The seven intervening years saw Southampton drop down to League One before Adkins led them to back-to-back promotions. Lallana insists revenge for that final-day defeat is not on the minds of anyone at the club and is still enjoying the challenge of the top flight. When asked if the players wanted to avenge the result he said: "Not really, no. "We have played them a couple of times since in the Cup and we are more concentrating on getting off the mark and getting some points on the board. "Obviously we have come on leaps and bounds in two years, playing League One football two years ago. "To have played the two big Manchester clubs in the opening three weeks of the season is great, tough, but I don't think we would have it any other way really." Southampton completed a club-record deal for Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez on deadline day following the earlier acquisitions of Japanese defender Maya Yoshida and Emmanuel Mayuke from Zambia.

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney's thigh injury could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Rooney has been ruled out for four weeks after suffering a nasty gash when Fulham's Hugo Rodallega landed on the Manchester United man at Old Trafford last Saturday. The injury overshadowed the fact Rooney had been left out of Ferguson's starting line-up. But amid reports Ferguson was not happy with the condition Rooney was in when he returned for pre-season training, the United boss feels an enforced break might be just what last season's top scorer needs. "It may be a blessing," Ferguson said. "He can concentrate on his fitness in the gym now in particular because he's a bit behind other players." Rooney has confirmed there is no rift between him and Ferguson, leaving him free to get on with the business of getting fit. And, despite the severity of the striker's injury, the United boss insists the four-week timescale he outlined on Saturday has not changed. "It's nothing serious on the actual gash; it's a bad one but it was treated carefully and very quickly and we don't expect any complications," he said. "The fact it's a gash and not a ligament, muscle or joint injury means he can do a lot of work in the gym so he should be back in four weeks." Ferguson is less content at news of the knee injury that will keep Ashley Young out of the trip. Young was the notable absentee when Roy Hodgson announced his squad on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and Ukraine. Although the FA did not explain Young's absence, Ferguson believes they were to blame for the winger's injury becoming public. And, feeling opponents Southampton have been given an advantage by discovering Young will not play, Ferguson aims to prevent any chance of a repeat. "It was nice of the FA to let everyone know Ashley Young is injured," Ferguson said. "We have a game on Sunday. "Why should we let our opponents know who's fit and who isn't? It won't happen again." Jonny Evans is set to return at St Mary's Stadium after a summer ankle operation.


PA

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