Bruno Fernandes admits Manchester United (7/4 Top 4 Finish) “have a lot to improve on” as they prepare to take Southampton in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
The Red Devils have lost just two of their 12 matches since interim boss Ralf Rangnick (pictured) took charge in November.
A victory against the Saints will see them go back into the top four, with current fourth-place West Ham United travelling to Leicester City on Sunday and fifth-place Arsenal having the weekend off.
Southampton head to Old Trafford looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s 9-0 defeat and will be full of confidence following Wednesday’s 3-2 win at Tottenham.
United could only draw 1-1 at Burnley and Fernandes admits they are still far from the finished article (Match Betting – United 3/5, Draw 10/3, Southampton 5/1).
“I think we have been doing well,” Bruno explained. “There is still a lot to improve on and I think everyone is aware of that, because we know that we can do much better.
“Obviously, since he [Rangnick] came, we have had a lot of good results, but still some results that, when we look back, we think that we could have more points in the league.
“I think he has brought his own way to play, the mentality that he has, the way that he thinks is better for us and that is it. After that, every player has to give the best of themselves, to help the team to be better.”
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There are three 15:00 kick-offs in the Premier League on Saturday, with one of them seeing Everton host Leeds United (Match Betting – Everton 7/5, Draw 13/5, Leeds United 2/1).
After making a winning start as Toffees boss in the FA Cup, Frank Lampard saw his side falter in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat at Newcastle and has confirmed they will be without defender Yerry Mina for the next (eight to 10 weeks) due to a muscle injury.
There is also a London derby as Crystal Palace head west across the capital to Brentford (Match Betting – Brentford 13/8, Draw 21/10, Crystal Palace 2/1), while Roy Hodgson will be eyeing his first victory as Watford boss against Brighton.
The 74-year-old has overseen a 0-0 draw at Burnley and a 1-0 defeat at West Ham since replacing Claudio Ranieri and this game will mark his first home fixture in charge (Match Betting – Watford 11/4, Draw 23/10, Brighton 23/20).
Hodgson knows how important his side’s home form will be if they are to avoid relegation this season and says the Vicarage Road crowd could make a significant impact on their survival hopes.
“The fans really do back their team here and are behind them,” he told his pre-match press conference. “I think the supporters have a big role to play.
“When you find yourself near the bottom of the table they, like everyone at the club, will be anxious that we survive this year and that will be their major concern.
“I have a lot of faith in the intelligence of football fans and those who realise that the task won’t be made easier if they don’t get behind us and give us the right encouragement.”
Chelsea could also make history as they chase the only trophy that has evaded them during Roman Abramovich’s 19-year reign.
The Blues face Palmeiras in the final of the Club World Cup, with the game at Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium kicking off at 16:30 (Match Betting – Chelsea 3/5, Draw 11/4, Palmeiras 9/2).
Romelu Lukaku (13/8 Anytime Goalscorer) scored the only goal in his side’s semi-final win over Al Hilal and could be joined in the starting line-up by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who returned to the bench for Wednesday’s game after helping Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations.
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