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Speaking with the Enemy: A Southampton fan's thoughts on their visit to Manchester United

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Here's how one Saints fan is feeling about Friday night's footballing extravaganza.

Southampton v Watford - Premier League Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

We speak to Jake Hughes, from SB Nation's Southampton blog St Mary's Musings. And you can find our answers to their questions here ...

tBB: One game in, one point on the board … how was the game against Watford?

JH: A frustrating one, really. Watford looked poor for much of the game - as did we, truth be told. But, with Watford down to 10 men with a fair amount of time remaining, Saints couldn't quite nick the winner. It was a game which didn't really tell anyone how we'll fare this season, but the post-match reaction over social media did confirm the combined mood of apathy and frustration among Saints fans with yet another summer of upheaval.

tBB: And in the longer term, how do you think Claude Puel's Southampton side will differ from Ronald Koeman's?

JH: Puel looks like he likes football played in the "Southampton way" a little more than Koeman ever did. Puel likes his teams to keep the ball on the deck and play a passing game, whereas Koeman was a little more direct. A positive is that Puel seems a lot more adept in blooding in youngsters compared to Koeman, so that is something to look forward to.

tBB: Eighth place, then seventh place, then sixth place … are you going to manage to nick fifth this time?

JH: I don't think so. General consensus among Saints fans is that this won't be happening - especially considering our berth in the Europa League group stages. Personally, I'd snap your hand off for a decent European run and a mid-table finish just so we've got something to shout about for once.

tBB: How will you be approaching the Europa League?

JH: Seriously, I hope. We were teased with the Europa League qualifiers last year, before being knocked out by FC Midtjylland. Now, we're already in the group stages which is pretty exciting (until we draw tough teams in hooligan-happy countries Poland, Turkey and Russia, of course). We have nothing else to really play for at this stage, so why not go for it?

tBB: How has this game being moved to Friday night gone down with Southampton fans, particularly those intending to travel?

JH: Well I've had to book a day off work for it. I was initially pretty annoyed. But, it's worked out in a way as I had a wedding to go to on the Saturday which I had totally forgot about before ordering tickets. It's not great, but it's certainly a novelty I'm intrigued to experienceon Friday night. Not that we'll win this time around...

tBB: Which of your new players is going to have the most interesting impact on the team?

JH: Nathan Redmond. Easily. He's already impressed since moving over from Norwich City. Saying that, Pierre-Emil Hjobjerg also looks promising. But, in truth, there aren't a whole load of new signings to pick from and that's what is worrying plenty of Southampton fans right now.

tBB: And which of your players doesn't get enough credit from the wider world?

JH: Steven Davis. Consistent performer and is often the driving force behind our midfield. He has captained both Rangers and Northern Ireland so he's a good on-pitch leader, too.

tBB: Which of United's players are you most worried about on Friday?

JH: God, after your summer this is a bit of a toughie! I'd say Zlatan as it looks like Pogba may not be seeing a whole load of game time. I've long been a fan of Ibrahimovic ever since I signed him from Malmo on Championship Manager '00 and subsequently followed his real-life career. It still looks a tad surreal to see him grace the Premier League. I just hope he doesn't have too much success against our defence on Friday night.

tBB: And which of United's players have you always secretly suspected to be hugely overrated?

JH: There's only one answer here - Wayne Rooney. I would've said Marouane Fellaini if you were an Everton fan from around five seasons ago. But, it has to be Rooney now, considering how Fellaini isn't particularly rated at all these days, let alone overrated. I can't claim to have watched hours and hours of United in the past couple of seasons, but whenever I have watched him, he's looked bang average to me. That doesn't stop him from being seemingly undroppable, though. However, I'm sure the likes of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho know a lot more football than I do.

tBB: It's still just a rumour, but do you think Jose Fonte could do a job for United? And would Saints be willing to sell?

JH: I don't think Saints will be willing to sell, but money talks so if a big was bid enough, Southampton would definitely consider it. Fonte could do a job. I like him a lot - you'll struggle to find any Saints fans who don't appreciate him. But, he is prone to the odd error like any centre half. He's made Dejan Lovren look good. But, I'd argue the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Virgil van Dijk helped make Fonte look good in the Saints defence.

tBB: Finally, the score will be ...

JH: I can't see Saints winning for the third time in a row at Old Trafford. So, to avoid sounding too negative, I'll plump for a 1-1 draw.

Our thanks to Jake for his time.