Adnan Januzaj’s brilliant brace prevented a drama turning into a crisis in Manchester United’s last Premier League game at Sunderland, but against the league’s tightest defence all form suggests the 21/20 on there being less than 2.5 goals is the bet to be on when the champions host Southampton.
David Moyes’ side can be backed at 1/2 to give the former Everton chief just his second maximum-pointer in the Premier League at Old Trafford as Red Devils boss, with the visitors priced up at 11/2 for an away win and the draw 3/1.
The champions have only struck twice in a match at home in the Premier League on one occasion all season.
A cursory glance at United’s home goals-for column gives some indication as to what is causing their current malaise in front of their own fans.
Moyes’ team drew a blank in their early-season stalemate with Chelsea, relied on a Wayne Rooney free-kick to register a strike in their 2-1 reverse against West Brom and were fortunate that a dodgy penalty and red card for Eagles midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi just before half-time against Crystal Palace set them up for their only home league win of the campaign so far.
Despite their lofty position among the top-flight elite, Southampton have only scored half as many goals as league-leaders Arsenal.
Prior to their 2-0 home win over Palace at the end of September Southampton’s defender’s had bagged double the amount of goals their much-lauded strikers had landed in the league.
New £12m signing Dani Osvaldo has impressed with his all round play since moving from Roma in the summer, but the 11-cap Italy forward has only managed one goal in six games for the Saints.
England striker Rickie Lambert’s tally of two goals in seven appearances this term is hardly much better and Mauricio Pochettino’s side only scored their first first-half goal of the season against Swansea last time out.
United beat the Saints by a single goal in both their games last term and the visitors have improved since.
Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick in the Red Devils’ come-from-behind 3-2 win at St Mary’s last season, but the Dutch maestro has not troubled the scoresheet in his last three games for United and has only scored once in the Premier League at Old Trafford in this campaign.
Sir Alex Ferguson insisted that Southampton’s second-half performance was the best a visiting team had put in at Old Trafford all season in the Saints’ 2-1 January loss and with the gap between these sides seemingly shortening since, a tight encounter is expected in the north west.