Predicted Manchester United Line-up To Face Southampton In The Premier League
Having failed to win any of their last three fixtures, Manchester United will be determined to end 2017 on a positive note when they play host to Southampton on Saturday evening. Jose Mourinho’s side have seen their title challenge fade over the festive period, as they have taken just two points from their last two Premier League fixtures against Leicester City and Burnley respectively.
Southampton are struggling for form, particularly away from home where they have now gone 7 Premier League matches without a victory.
The Saints come to Old Trafford on the back of a humiliating 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day. They will be desperate to avoid a similar outing and look to bounce back before going into the New Year.
The last time these two sides met, United prevailed 1-0 at St.Mary’s in September; thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s goal in the first-half. Mourinho’s men look well-placed to make a return to winning ways, but Saints could make an impact against a United side that has leaked goals at an upsetting rate in recent matches.
Antonio Valencia looks set to miss the game against Southampton with a hamstring injury. Valencia’s deputy at right-back, Matteo Darmian, could return to the squad, while Chris Smalling missed the 2-2 draw against Burnley with a groin strain.
Club captain Michael Carrick is not expected to take part in the hectic festive period as he is recovering from a heart problem while Marouane Fellaini’s return still remains doubtful after he strained his knee ligaments. Eric Bailly is definitely out after undergoing ankle surgery.
Marcos Rojo is suspended for the game on Saturday after picking up his fifth caution of the season against Burnley, while Ander Herrera and Ashley Young are in danger of getting a one-game ban if they pick up another booking.
Probable Manchester United XI
Manager: Jose Mourinho
David De Gea (GK)
The best keeper on the planet, De Gea has saved our skin a number of times this season too and he will start the game against Southampton.
Ashley Young (RB)
Young has been a vital player under Mourinho and never ceases to amaze us with his versatility. He has played at left-back the whole season so far, but with Valencia injured, was shifted to the right-back slot against Burnley and didn’t disappoint.
Phil Jones (CB)
Phil Jones should keep his place in the starting XI. His presence makes the United back-line stronger.
Victor Lindelof (CB)
It was a curious case how Rojo started above Lindelof in the last game, given the latter has enjoyed some fine form lately. With Rojo suspended against the Saints, Lindelof will get a chance and the Swedish centre-half should look to seize the opportunity.
Luke Shaw (LB)
Shaw endured a mixed bag against Burnley. He was tasked to take the corner-kicks, but he largely disappointed. Defensively, the full-back is still not reliable, which remains a concern for Mourinho.
Nemanja Matic (CM)
Matic has been one of the most consistent performers this season. Covers a lot of pitch, shields the defence and contributes to the attacks as well. A sure-shot starter against the Saints!
Paul Pogba (CM)
Unlike last season, Pogba seems to be involved more in every game. He is the creative hub of the team and on his day, can win matches single-handedly. The Frenchman needs a goal or two to regain his confidence.
Juan Mata (RW)
Mata has played a pivotal role in the last two games. He lacks pace but is always a threat, with his guile and creativity. His incisive passing would be needed to penetrate the Southampton rearguard.
Jesse Lingard (CAM)
The hero to salvage a draw in the dying minutes of the game against Burnley. Lingard arguably has been our best player in the last month or two and it’ll be naïve on Mourinho’s part to not start him on Saturday. His spirit and desire have made him an invaluable player in this side.
Anthony Martial (LW)
Martial was a big miss against Burnley with United lacking creativity in the final third. His incisiveness and accuracy will be key to unlock the Southampton defence.
Romelu Lukaku (ST)
Lukaku had a poor game against Burnley and it was his mistake with which Ashley Barnes scored the opener. He does need to score on a consistent basis if he is to quell some of the questions about his productivity in front of goal.