By Ollie Cranham-Young
- Rooney has been declared fit after missing victory over Liverpool and defeat to PSV
- Jones has returned to training but unlikely to feature
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium Date and Kick-Off: Sunday 20 September 4:00pm
Following a cruel midweek defeat in Eindhoven, the Reds will be looking to quickly bounce back to winning ways on the South Coast.
United are currently third in the standings, a point behind second place Leicester, and would have been second had it not been for Leicester’s dramatic turnaround against Aston Villa last weekend. Southampton on the other hand are 11th, suffering a very poor start to the season if you compare this season with last.
They have found wins hard to come by with only 1 win from 5, followed by 3 draws and 1 loss. United, however, have won 3 of their 5 games, drawing once and losing once putting them into a stronger position going into this game but an away trip to Southampton is difficult for a team of any calibre.
Last weekend, Southampton earned a point with a goalless draw at West Brom, whilst United demolished Liverpool on the same day. Both sides will be eager to grab the three points, Southampton are desperately looking to kick start their season after a few lacklustre opening games, and United want to stay inside the top four and possibly, depending on how the season pans out, fight City for the title.
Luke Shaw misses out on a return to his former club after breaking his leg against PSG. Doctors that are treating him are happy with his progress following a second leg operation. Marcos Rojo could be used in exchange for Shaw or so could Blind as both plays can feature in the left back position.
Schneiderlin didn’t play against PSV however he could star in midfield on Sunday afternoon, making his first return to the saints since his switch to Manchester this summer.
Wayne Rooney has been declared fit following a small hamstring injury and is able to start, possibly alongside new French striker Anthony Martial. As for the Saints, Jordy Clasie, Gaston Ramirez and Florin Gardos are all expected to be side-lined, alongside goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Dutch rivals Louis Van Gaal and Ronald Koeman will both be looking to take the three points, and after a win for each manager in the fixture last term, all is to play for at St Mary’s.
United were victorious at Southampton last year but suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Ronald Koeman’s side later in the season. Also, Morgan Schneiderlin’s eagerly anticipated return to Southampton will make the fixture all the more exciting in the build-up to kick off on Sunday afternoon.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI: