Manchester United go away to St Mary’s to make it back to back wins in the Premier League.
United had a game midweek in the UEFA Champions League which they suffered an away defeat in the hands of PSV Eindhoven. Although, in the league, the victory at home against Liverpool showed determination and character to maintain a positive start to the season compared to last year. Van Gaal’s team are third whereas the opposition Southampton in an inconsistent start to the season in eleventh place.
Obviously, the main concern and thoughts are with Luke Shaw who suffered a double leg break in the Champions League and looks likely he would not be playing again this season. Wish you a speedy recovery Shaw, who had such a great start to the season with the amount of work put in. It seemed like the team had a delayed shock and that was a consequence of not being focused and conceding the goals. Even though there were many chances created, the main thoughts were knowing the extent of the injury and not the result as it took medical staff 8 minutes to treat Shaw.
It’s head-to-head of the two Dutchman’s who have had a different start to the season compared to last season. Koeman has had to change his squad around with plenty of transfers and players coming back from injuries. The Saints had to wait until their fourth game to earn a win and they had crashed out of the qualifying round of the Europa League.
With Luke Shaw having his second operation for his double leg break, it is ruled out for the season. Phil Jones has recovered from thrombosis but lacks match fitness. Rooney is available again after suffering a hamstring injury. Fellaini could get a place on the bench. Koeman will be without a Bertrand, Clasie, Forster and Gardos. Ramirez is a doubt for the game. Mane could be pushing for a start.
There were plenty of talking points from the previous league game, Martial’s debut goal, Rooney not included, the dominance of the performance and tactical preparations. It is clear to see, Van Gaal has worked on a few set pieces in training which led to Blind scoring. Martial’s solo footwork was amazing to see and he was putting in a lot of work against PSV. He just needed the supply from midfield to get into spaces for chances. Although, Memphis scored with his skill to dodge the defender. It looks like United are getting out of second gear but not taking the chances created. Improvements are being made and players are in their preferred positions which makes it’s easier to have a formation and tactics.
Hopefully, Rojo is shifted at centre back and Blind is at left back. Unless, Young is deployed there. Blind will need to form a partnership with Memphis to make the left side solid. Herrera looks to be dropped if Rooney is starting and Martial would be playing as the target man upfront. Schneiderlin could feature against his old club but it will be difficult to take either Carrick or Schweinsteiger out of the starting line up.
There has not been a clean sheet between the two in the last seven games and this game has a potential to have plenty of goals. United managed to score three goals with three shots which shows how clinical they are when it comes to scoring but they will need to take more shots on goal if there is a lack of goals to win games. It would be great to take advantage of a not so stronger starting eleven for Saints with United having a similar team without any concerns.
Possible starting XI:
Saints; Stekelenburg, Fonte, Soares, van Dijk, Targett, Rodriguez, Wanyama, Tadic, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Pelle.
Man Utd; De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Rojo, Blind, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata, Rooney, Memphis, Martial.