Southampton v Manchester United- Preview

Last updated : 28 January 2011 By DSG

Southampton will check on Dean Hammond and Adam Lallana ahead of the FA Cup fourth round meeting with Manchester United.

Skipper Hammond has been sidelined since he limped out of the third-round win over Blackpool with a calf problem and fellow midfielder Lallana has missed the last two matches with a knee injury.

The duo are edging closer to fitness and boss Nigel Adkins will make late decisions on them.

Adkins this week signed Dany N'Guessan on loan from Leicester and the winger is eligible to make his debut against the Premier League giants.

Lee Holmes is a long-term absentee as he recovers from ankle surgery and fellow wideman Jason Puncheon appears to have fallen out of favour again.

Southampton midfielder Richard Chaplow insists they will approach the FA Cup clash with Manchester United just like any other game.

The encounter will rekindle memories of Saints' infamous giantkilling in 1976, when Bobby Stokes' solitary goal saw second-tier Saints overcome top-flight United in the final.

Southampton go into the match off the back of a goalless draw with Notts County and a 2-0 defeat at Tranmere, while United are in the midst of an imperious unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League.

Despite the differing fortunes, Chaplow insists Saints do not feel any pressure and, if anything, believe it could boost their tilt at promotion from npower League One.

"We're all really looking forward to the game," said Chaplow. "Obviously Manchester United need no introduction and hopefully we can put on a good spectacle.

"We take every game as it comes. We're very level as a group and down to earth.

"Things haven't gone for us in the last couple of games and we've got the hype now of a game against Manchester United, but we're going to keep our focus on the league as well.

"It takes a bit of pressure away from the league where we're expected to win more games than we lose or draw and we're looking to get promoted so there's pressure on us in the league.

"But on Saturday it's flipped around a bit and we're just looking forward to going out and enjoying ourselves.

"It'll be no different for us as we'll approach it in the same way that we do every game."

United will get a glimpse of life after Edwin van der Sar but travel to Southampton dealing with a defensive shortage.

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Van der Sar will not make the trip, although he is not injured, missing a game only two days after it was announced this will be the 40-year-old's final season.

Recent signing Anders Lindegaard could make his debut, although no final decision has been made, and whichever goalkeeper does play will have to do so behind a makeshift defence, with Rio Ferdinand (groin), Patrice Evra (family bereavement), and Rafael da Silva (concussion) all out.

Midfielder Michael Carrick is also doubtful with an ankle injury.

Ferguson feels the emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet another example of Southampton's high-class youth set-up.

The 17-year-old is the most coveted young player in the country at present, with Arsenal said to be the front-runners in the chase for his signature.

However, with the Gunners failing to reach an agreement so far, United could make a move, with Ferguson getting a chance to assess the teenager's merits against his own side on Saturday evening.

Ferguson is too experienced to get involved in discussion about that potential transfer. But he does acknowledge how well Southampton have done with their development of young players down the years.

"Alex Chamberlain is only young but he has potential," said Ferguson.

"Southampton have done very well bringing young players through over the years.

"He is another one along with Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. Before that they had the Wallace brothers and Alan Shearer.

"They have been good at that. They have done a lot right."

Oxlade-Chamberlain will be one of the major threats to United's hopes of progressing into the fifth round and Ferguson knows United must expect to overcome a tough test if they are to reach the last 16.

"Nigel Adkins is doing an excellent job," he said.

"To follow Alan Pardew was not easy.

"Alan is a really good manager and did a great job at Southampton. They also had to cope with administration and relegation.

"But now they have a good opportunity to get back into the Championship and it looks as though they will do it.

"I went saw them at Oldham recently when they won 6-0, so I know it won't be an easy game."

Source: DSG

Source: DSG