Football on a Friday night. The premise isn't a terrible one, I would happily watch a game every day, but for match going fans its a bloody nightmare. As I read reports of our loyal away support stuck in traffic trying to navigate around Birmingham just as the weekends rush hour kicks off I can't help but think of a fantastic protest put on in Spain to fight back against modern football.
I'm a fan of Spanish football and in La Liga they stagger each gameweek's matches over the course of the weekend. Excellent for a long distance viewer like myself. If the mood strikes you can watch all ten games live from Friday to Monday.
This does however leave those attending matches feeling like an afterthought. Last season the wonderful fans of Madrid based football club Rayo Vallecano had had enough. It was a Monday night game and los bukaneros, the ultras group that congregate at the vallecas, decided to make a point.
They emptied their usually bustling stand for the first half against Eibar and set up the classic couch scene from the Simpsons.
Their point being the league only cares about the fans sitting in front of their TVs.
Their other point being those who like Monday night football are "special" like Ralph Wiggum.
Paulo Gazzaniga will be plying his trade on loan in front of these wonderful fans this season.
So god speed to all the people making their way to the "Theatre of dreams" tonight. Hopefully you are more successful than our editor Jake.
On to the predictions.
Last week Tommy said "Boring 1-1 draw for me. Can't see much happening on the opening day. Nathan Redmond to score." He gets three points for the correct score and a pat on the back for predicting Redmond to bag a debut goal. Not sure it was boring though. Frustrating? Yes. Boring? Wait till tonight's 90 minutes(!?) of build up about the moany one and his new superstars for a true sense of boredom.
"It will be fairly comfortable on Friday"
"This united team already feel different to when Van Gaal was manager and, at the moment, Saints are not the same side they were either"
"I'll go with a 1-1 draw again this time, actually. I can see us playing a defensive-minded match, but maybe finding a goal late"
"Uncertainty at centre back ultimately leads to our demis Friday. United can neutralize our wingers better than almost any team in the league. If Yoshida is starting again, Zlatan is good for 2."
"We look resolute defensively but United's star power soon shines through and grab a couple of scrappy goals. Saints fans then start moaning over social media(do I get extra points for that?)"
Dan V: 4-1
"Discord in the camp and an unfamiliar formation see us fail to turn up. The Fonte issue hangs over a dreadful performance... Hope I'm wrong!"
"2-0 Utd and everyone will explode on twitter and call for the head of Puel"
Dan N: 3-1
"Think we'll be able to create chances against them but they'll be too strong for us. Redmond to score the saints goal."
"Saints get a couple of quick strikes to begin the game but uncertainty at the back costs them including a stoppage time equalizer late in the second half."
"Southampton falls next victim to Ibra & co. Before the half time whistle"
"This United side isn't the finished article yet. Fellaini, Blind, an out of position Rooney. There are weaknesses to exploit. I'd love us to win and get Mourinho busting out his bullshit excuses early but can't see it happening"