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Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Fernandes and Pogba start against Saints; Varane and Sancho on the bench

MacFinder

Manchester United travel to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League this afternoon. It is the second match of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and after the 5-2 destruction of Leeds United at Old Trafford last weekend, he will be confident of another three points in the bag this weekend. However, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton will be seeking to get back to winning ways in the league this season after their 3-1 defeat to Everton last weekend. United have the added benefit of know they took all six points against Southampton last season, winning 3-2 in they fixture, which included a late winner by Edinson Cavani, also winning 9-0 at Old Trafford just over two months later. This is a new season though and there is nothing granted in football. United will be tested, like they always have been at St Mary’s.

United sit top of the league at the time of writing, but that will change before a ball is kicked at St Mary’s on Sunday. Liverpool, Brentford, Everton and Watford all play before United this weekend and as they all won last weekend, they have a good chance of earning six points from their first two matches this season – which is also what United will be seeking to achieve on Sunday. Tottenham Hotspur kick off at the same time as United, and after beating Manchester City last weekend, will be seeking to start strongly, despite their defeat in the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League against Paços de Ferreira on Thursday. Chelsea will go head to head with Arsenal for their chance to challenge for the top spot in the league in the second week of the season. United will have many challengers this season and they will need to work hard to reach the promised land.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, Matic;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba;

Martial

Substitutes:

Heaton; Varane, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, James, Van de Beek, McTominay; Sancho

Southampton:

McCarthy;

Livramento, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud;

Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo;

Armstrong, Adams

Substitutes:

Forster, Walker-Peters, Long, Redmond, Tella, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Bednarek, Valery

United and Southampton have met a total of 44 times in the Premier League. United have won 28 matches, drawing nine with the Saints winning seven times. The Red Devils have scored a grand total of 96 goals against Southampton with the South Coast club scoring 50 against United. The Red Devils have won four penalties against the Saints, scoring two of them with the Saints winning one penalty against United and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 12 clean sheets with the Saints keeping just six. Based on the history of these two clubs, there have not really been many discipline issues between the two clubs with United players being shown 57 yellow cards and one red card and the Saints players being shown 72 yellow cards and three red cards. There is no really rivalry between these clubs but it can be a cup final for the Saints.

Over the years there has been many players who have turned out for both United and the Saints. Luke Shaw is the current player to fit that bill, signing for United in the summer of 2014 just before Louis van Gaal became the manager of the club. He is the player that has proven himself the most in the last few years and could be considered as one of the best left-backs in world football at this time. His form last season and for England during Euro 2020 has been great for him He also started the season well against Leeds United at the Theatre of Dreams last weekend as United won 5-1. Other players to have played for both clubs are Danny Wallace, Danny Higginbotham, Joe Jordan, Mark Hughes, Morgan Schneiderlin and Andrei Kanchelskis. This match will see United wear their new third kit for the first time – some may compare it to a match at the Dell in 1996.

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW