Throw in as many defenders as you can, make your tactics as strategically tight as possible. Yet there are just some things that even the most rigid of sides can’t overcome.
Robin van Persie has the potential to be that on any given day.
Which is why, for the majority of the Southampton encounter, a large portion of the Saints’ hopes of surviving may rest on whether or not the man between the sticks is having a good day at the races.
This time around, that man is likely to be summer signing, Artur Boruc, who has had far from a magnificent spell since moving to St. Mary’s.
That being said, the former Celtic star has kept two clean sheets in his last two matches, making for a potentially close battle when the Pole makes his way to Old Trafford.
However, it is certain that neither Everton nor Aston Villa—the two sides those clean sheets were maintained against—have a talent on par with United’s RVP.
With six goals and two assists in his last five fixtures, it is fair to say that the Dutch sensation is enjoying a magnificent run of form.
While a great share of responsibility may lie with his defence, Boruc will be tested by the Red Devils’ main man, and he will need to be equal to the test.