Manchester United v Southampton: Team news, Predicted XI, Opposition focus

Manchester United v Southampton

By Andy Hyslop

  • United welcome Southampton in first home league game of season
  • Pogba set for debut after World Record move

After wins over Leicester and Bournemouth, United welcome Southampton to Old Trafford in their first home league game of the 2016/17 season.

With only one game played in the Premier League season, United sit top of the table and will be looking to stay with a win over the Saints.

United opened their campaign with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth while Southampton drew 1-1 with Watford.

Southampton will be looking to make three successive wins at Old Trafford having taken the three points home in last two seasons.

Team news

The question on everyone’s lips ahead of this Friday night Premier League encounter is will Paul Pogba make his first appearance since returning in a World Record move.

Since arriving back at the club, Pogba has enjoyed around ten days of training with his team mates and looks set to feature at some point.

Pogba was suspended for the opening win over Bournemouth, as was Chris Smalling and he may struggle to break up the partnership of Bailly and Blind.

Both Pogba and Smalling may have to settle for a place on the bench at best as they look to build up their fitness.

Predicted XI

After an impressive performance and three points against Bournemouth, you couldn’t blame Mourinho for sticking with a winning team.

We believe that will be the case, meaning Pogba will have to settle for a place on the bench.

At the moment the back five appears to pick itself. Meaning De Gea starting behind a back four of Valencia, Bailly, Blind and Shaw.

Fellaini and Ander Herrera both impressed in United’s midfield two against Bournemouth and look set to continue behind the attacking four of Martial, Rooney, Mata and Ibrahimović.

Opposition focus

Southampton will be looking for another win at Old Trafford and left-back Matt Targett believes he and his team-mates can take confidence from those results.

Like United, Southampton have a new manager in Frenchman Claude Puel. After improving their league position by one position in the last two season, Puel will be looking to continue that trend.

Puel will betaking a team to Old Trafford for the third time, having twice taken French side Lille to the ground in the Champions League.

He is yet to taste success at Old Trafford and will be looking to make it third time lucky.

Puel will be without England full-back Ryan Bertrand for this game while Jose Fonte could be involved despite rumours of a transfer to United.

About Andrew Hyslop 398 Articles

Creator of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and writer of football books https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01M1RVX27

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