Manchester United go into their ninth game in the premier league campaign against Southampton. It takes place at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, at 14:00 DST. You can watch it live on Sky Sports. The coverage of this game starts at 13:30.
United’s confidence should be sky high going into this game, as they have currently won their last three on the bounce in all competitions. After the longest international break known to man, we have had the excitement of seeing our team play in two games. One in the Premier League against West Brom, and the other against Istanbul in the Champions League.
After an emphatic win during the midweek European fixture, a lot of nerves will be somewhat calmed coming into the next game against Southampton. However, after a rocky start to the season, Southampton are in fantastic form and will be a tricky encounter. I have many positives to say about Ralph and I feel that they are a very well drilled team. Since their bad start, they are now seven games unbeaten, winning five, and as a result, are sitting in fifth. In comparison, a win for Manchester United will take them within a point of their opposition. Currently tenth in the league, this is a must win if we are going to start our challenge for a top four finish.
There were many standout performers in the previous match midweek. Most of that night’s starting eleven would feel they have staked a claim to start again this weekend. Bruno Fernandes and Donny Van de Beek being two of the standouts for me.
It has been stated for many weeks now, United must come out fighting and pressing as soon as kick-off has started. Southampton will not sit back and will look to attack our defence, which has been put into question on many occasions including the midweek 4-1 win.
With Scott and Pogba both missing out on training on Friday, it is uncertain how United’s midfield will look. I feel that Ole may start with Fred and Matic as the two key holding midfielders, with Bruno set to start as a number ten. Although, it would be a huge shame to not see Donny starting this one.
Martial playing on the left and Rashford on the right was very effective against Istanbul, with Cavani playing through the middle. I would not be surprised to see this setup again. Cavani’s experience really shone through. His positioning was fantastic and it really caused problems when dragging defenders out of position. Something that will be incredibly useful against Southampton.
Late fitness tests on Lindelof and Aaron will be made, but we should hopefully see the current back four of Telles, Maguire, Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bisakka. United are without Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba (50%), Scott McTominay (50%) & Phil Jones. Jesse Lingard looks to be back in contention after having to Isolate for two weeks.
What I would like to see is: De Gea, Wan-Bisakka, Maguire, Lindelof, Telles, Fred, VDB, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani and Martial. My prediction of the score line is Southampton 2, Manchester United 3.