Southampton v Manchester United: Predicted Red Devils line up

Southampton v Manchester United: Predicted Red Devils line up

Rashford finished calmly past Alisson to put United 2-0 up on Monday

Manchester United travel to the south coast on Saturday to face Southampton on the back of a superb victory over rivals Liverpool.

The two sides went into Monday’s grudge match without a win between them in the Premier League, but it was Erik ten Hag’s side who secured their first victory of the campaign.

The result followed defeats to both Brighton and Brentford in the weeks prior, and Ten Hag will have been a relieved man when the final whistle blew on Monday.

Now, United must turn their attention to The Saints, who also picked up their first win of the season last weekend, beating Leicester City 2-1.

Here, we predict the XI that Ten Hag may opt for.

Goalkeeper

After a disastrous first-half performances against Brentford, David de Gea was under huge pressure to turn his form around against a ruthless Reds side on Monday. The Spaniard did so, and will once again start for United with Tom Heaton, the club’s only other senior ‘keeper, set for the bench.

Defenders

Ten Hag mad a bold call in benching Harry Maguire on Monday, but his side’s subsequent victory may mean that the Dutchman opts to do so once again. If that is the case, Raphael Varane will partner Lisandro Martinez at centre-back. The Frenchman looked back to his best against Liverpool, while Martinez recovered from criticism for his performance against Brentford by putting in an impressive display.

SVarane and Martinez both impressed against Liverpool in Maguire’s absence

On the right, Diogo Dalot will once again be given the nod ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who looks likely to spend much of the season ahead on the bench.

On the left, Ten Hag is likely to choose Tyrell Malacia and, in turn, select an unchanged back from the one that kept Liverpool at bay for the vast majority of Monday’s match.

Midfielders

Against Liverpool, Ten Hag opted to field Scott McTominay ahead of Brazilian midfielder Fred, but the arrival of Casemiro means that both players may find themselves on the bench for the trip to St. Mary’s.

Casemiro completed a £70 million move from Champions League holders Real Madrid this week, and was unveiled at Old Trafford prior to kick-off against Liverpool. The Brazil international is a statement signing for Ten Hag, and will likely slot straight into his midfield.

Casemiro was unveiled on Monday and could start against Southampton

Ahead of him, Christian Eriksen will likely start once again, aiming to register his first goal or assist for his new side. Like almost all of the United side, the Dane looked far more impressive last time out then he did in either of his first two appearances of the season.

Bruno Fernandes is also in line for a start, despite extending his record to just one goal and zero assists in his last 14 league matches. Some felt that the Portuguese was lucky not to be sent off on Monday, having been spoken to by the referee for time wasting and dissent while already on a yellow card. The midfielder took the armband for that match, and could well do once again if Maguire is missing.

Forwards

Ten Hag will have been overjoyed by seeing both Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho on the scoresheet against Jurgen Klopp’s side. The pair have both struggled for form over the past 12 months, but looked in good shape and will likely start on the left and right flanks respectively.

Rashford finished calmly past Alisson to put United 2-0 up on Monday

Through the middle, Cristiano Ronaldo could return to the starting line up having been dropped alongside Maguire last time out. The 37-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, but his 24-goal contribution last term proved that he is still as dangerous as ever and Ten Hag may find himself relying on the Portugal international this term.

Anthony Martial, who set up Rashford’s goal on Monday, will likely once again be on the bench as he continues his recovery from injury. Anthony Elanga, meanwhile, could also revert to being a substitute having been handed a rare start.

Predicted XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; Eriksen, Casemiro, Fernandes; Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford

Read More