Confirmed Starting XI: Matic and Pogba partnered in midfield as Manchester United look to beat Leicester

Manchester United take on Leicester City in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium this evening. United beat Leicester at Old Trafford 2-0 earlier in the season. Jose Mourinho’s side will be seeking a return to winning ways after exiting the Carabao Cup after a 2-1 defeat by Championship side Bristol City on Wednesday. The manager has confirmed that Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick are all unavailable for this match.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, Young;

Matic, Pogba;

Mata, Lingard, Martial;



Romero; Rojo, Shaw; Herrera, Mkhitaryan; Ibrahimovic, Rashford

Manchester United and Leicester City have played 120 matches in the history of both clubs – the first match being played on the 22nd September 1894; a 3-2 victory for Newton Heath over Leicester Fosse. United have won 64 times, drawn 28 times and lost 33 times. United last lost against Leicester in the 5-3 thriller on the 21st September 2014. Since then, United have been undefeated in seven matches; winning five times and drawing twice. Before the defeat, United had an unbeaten run of 11 matches, winning ten and drawing once.

Manchester City beat Bournemouth 4-0 at the Etihad in the Premier League this afternoon, extending their lead at the top of the league to 14 points meaning the pressure may be on United to bring it back down to the eleven point lead they held earlier this afternoon. Come on UNITED!

Mourinho: Sunday will be a big day for the kids because lots of them are going to play

Manchester United pulled another draw out of the bag away to Southampton in the penultimate match of the Premier League on Wednesday evening. There were few chances for United, a few more for the home side throughout the game, neither of them getting close to breaking the deadlock. Well, Southampton were closer if it was not for the form of Sergio Romero, who is playing well at this moment in time ahead of his UEFA Europa League final start in a weeks time in Sweden. During the match both Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini headed straight for the tunnel after being substituted with Fellaini carrying an injury. Speaking to MUTV, reported by the official Manchester United website, Jose Mourinho said:

“Fellaini, on top of his experience, he says it’s not a tear. On top of his experience, he says it was a minimal thing but minimal can be a big thing. Let’s wait for tomorrow but he needed to play.

“I couldn’t protect him as he needed to play. He didn’t play for three matches due to suspension. Players need not only to rest but also to play. He wasn’t playing a lot so he had to play today. I don’t blame myself or our decision but let’s wait.”

Eric Bailly also suffered a little problem during the match, but that is less of a worry after he saw himself suspended for the Europa League final next week. Mourinho spoke about the Ivorian, who is one of the star players this season and will no doubt be a big miss in Sweden next week. The manager said:

“The one with little problems is the one [player] that can have little problems,” he added. “Eric, because he’s not playing the final [due to suspension].”

Sergio Romero, the Man of the Match for me this evening, gave his first interview with MUTV in English after the match, which was good to see. Here’s what he said:

Jose Mourinho spoke about the result at Southampton this evening, also saying that his players showed that they wanted to play in the UEFA Europa League final next week.

Mourinho on how we must wait for Marouane Fellaini:

“He says it’s not a [hamstring] tear. He believes it’s a minimal thing but minimal can be a big thing. Let’s wait for tomorrow. I couldn’t protect him as he needed to play after suspension. Players need not only to rest but also to play. I don’t blame myself or our decision but let’s wait. The one with little problems is the one that can]have little problems, Eric [Bailly], because he’s not playing the final.”

Mourinho on his players show their hunger to play in the Europa League final:

“I think we played a good game against a good team, a team that tried to win because they try to finish well and will probably finish eighth and I think we did more than okay. All of them gave me positive feelings. Of course Sergio [Romero] had a very good performance, I’d say more than very good, but with a little mistake here and there. The team was not perfect but I think the players individually gave me good things, they showed me they want to be in the final, they showed me they want to be an option and they gave everything they have but we still have the Sunday match.”

Mourinho on his team being in safe hands with Sergio Romero:

“It’s the Argentina national team goalkeeper [Romero] and the Spanish national team goalkeeper [David De Gea], two of the best countries in the world with good traditions of goalkeeping. We have these two guys and they are phenomenal and I keep saying the Portuguese kid [Joel Pereira] is a very good goalkeeper so in relation to that we’re in safe gloves.”

Mourinho on when David De Gea will play for Manchester United again:

“I think the first match against LA Galaxy in pre-season in Los Angeles. I hope to play Joel against Crystal Palace and I hope to play Sergio in the final and hopefully we don’t have problems with these two keepers. David is top in the world and obviously we want to keep the top [keeper] in the world.”

Mourinho on youth playing against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday:

“Sunday will be a big day for the kids because lots of them are going to play. I hope the crowd enjoys that in spite of it not being a big strong, Man United team and I hope Big Sam shows he’s really a friend and he goes slow and leaves [Christian] Benteke at home!” [Smiles]

Mourinho on whether winning the Europa League will make the season:

“I understand that from your [the media] point of view and your perspective that’s the big headline. I understand that we’re in the final and to be back in the Champions League makes a whole difference for all of you and you analyse a team’s season, but I know what I gave and I know what the players gave and from our perspective we are not going to accept that one goal, one save, one post, something that is going to decide a final, is going to decide if we worked well or worked bad. I think we gave everything we could give, we fought against so many difficult circumstances and I’m proud of the boys no matter what.”

Ratings: Romero the man with save after save for the Argentinian

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Southampton at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Wednesday evening, a week away from their all-important UEFA Europa League final against Ajax in Sweden. It was another tough match for United, who had a few chances throughout the match, but nothing that was going to threaten their opposition. Southampton had many chances too, but United were too good defensively especially with Man of the Match Sergio Romero showing his class and thwarting some good chances from the home side. Jose Mourinho seems to have made the right choice so far with the Argentinian in that he will be starting in a weeks time in Sweden with United contesting the only trophy they have not won in their trophy-laden history and more importantly a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.

United need to find some better form, or their season could be over with nothing to show for it and all to look back in anger about. United owe it to the fans, the manager and their teammates to beat Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday, returning to winning ways ahead of the UEFA Europa League final.

Manchester United: Romero; Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Darmian; Tuanzebe (Carrick 64′), Fellaini; Mata (Rashford 69′), Rooney, Mkhitaryan; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Mitchell; Lingard, McTominay

Bookings: Phil Jones 51′

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

Man of the Match for me. Saved the early penalty and performed to the best of his abilities whenever United were threatened. Number one for the club if De Gea leaves.


3 Eric Bailly

Gave away a penalty early doors, but seemed to recover. The Ivorian showed just how much he will be missed in a weeks time. Playing in the right-back position, Bailly got forward on the attack many times, almost got himself a credible shot, too.


Chris Smalling

Did little wrong against Southampton, but overall this season he has been a massive let down. Mourinho needs to clear the deadwood and he could be one of the names out of the door.


4 Phil Jones

Put in a good game against Southampton. I'd like to see him remain at the club, for another season at least. There is something about him that makes me think he could be a player that could do some good at the club. Put himself on the line a few times tonight. Kudos.


Matteo Darmian

Offered very little as an attacking threat and seemed to be more in danger defending. Not sure the Italian is the answer to anything at United as despite his great start last season, he's been a let down too.


38 Axel Tuanzebe

Impressed with young Tuanzebe this evening. Played out of position again, but did his job in front of the back four.


27 Marouane Fellaini

Failed to command the midfield and was pushed back in a deeper role with Southampton pushing forward. Lack of impetus in midfield means United have to play the defending game. They did well tonight, but against a better attacking team, it will cost them.


8 Juan Mata

Not all that impressed with Mata this evening, did little in a threatening nature in an attacking position. Playing with Rooney seems to have cost him his form. Not sure he will be a starter in a week, but he might have another match to redeem himself.


Ratings: Romero the man with save after save for the Argentinian

Played two good through balls into Martial and Mkhitaryan, which should have had much better finishing. Not sure he knew he was still playing in the second half though. His eye for a goal seems to be blind, not taking chances he would have scored a few years back.


22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Needs to show the Mkhitaryan who stood up earlier in the season. Gave the ball away too easily. Did not pressure the Southampton defence. For an attacking player, he did too little.


9 Anthony Martial

Should have scored from Rooney's through ball, but failed to cause a dent. Seemed to play better in the second half. Defensively he was poor and put Romero into a spot of danger a few times; one error caused Jones to be booked.



16 Michael Carrick

Replaced Tuanzebe. Added more impetus in midfield, adding some control and composure to the game.


10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata. Provided some life in the attack, but still could not do anything for United.


21 Ander Herrera

Replaced Fellaini. Added some energy into the midfield, could do little else with United being pushed back deep into their own half for much of the second half.


Report: Clean sheet for Romero after boring draw at St Mary’s

Manchester United draw 0-0 with Southampton at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Wednesday evening. It was like the team just did not want to win, not that anything could have been gained from winning anyway, other than getting rid of the mentality they have graced during the last three Premier League matches, including this one. One more match to play in the Premier League, then the UEFA Europa League final for United. They need to be ending their season in glorious fashion, rather than setting up to defend.

Jose Mourinho made four changes from the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday with Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Marouane Fellaini and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all returning to the starting XI. United did not start the match all that well with Eric Bailly giving away a penalty which Manolo Gabbiadini took and Sergio Romero saved. Bailly then helped United get forward, trying to find a goal for United, seemingly trying to right his wrong from moments before. In the tenth minute of the match, Oriol Romeu was booked for a challenge with United winning the free-kick around the halfway line. United had a few chances on goal, just not getting anything early doors in the match.

In the 20th minute of the match, Mkhitaryan had a shot, which was put out for a corner, nothing coming of it, which was a shame. Southampton then had a spell on the ball, gaining ground and keeping possession in the middle third of the pitch looking to create some space to go for goal. Cedric Soares had a chance to get something for the home side, but his attempt was wide of the target with United getting a goal kick. Cedric again got through, but United thwarted that chance through Fellaini, dispossessing him and clearing the threat. United and Southampton seemed to be nullifying each other with not much to make of the game so far. United had a good chance which was created by Wayne Rooney with Anthony Martial on the advance, but he could not get a good first touch on it.

Towards the end of the half, the momentum of the game slowed down with nothing happening for either side. In the last minute of the half though, United got an attack going with Juan Mata on the advance, but his shot deflected back to midfield with the referee blowing the whistle for the end of the half. It was all square at St Mary’s with all to play for in the second half. United need to win, turning the tide from their last two defeats hoping to change the mentality with an important UEFA Europa League final coming up in just a weeks time. There were no changes made at the start of the second half for either team, both looking to get all three points in the bag ahead of the final Premier League matches which will all be played from 14:00 BST on Sunday.

The play in the second half so far was similar to the end of the first half, neither side taking control of the match. In the 51st minute of the match, Phil Jones gave a free kick away to Southampton for fouling his man after Martial did not do enough to keep the ball at the edge of the box. Jones seemingly taking one of the team to prevent it from costing United. The free kick came to nothing for the home side. Southampton had another chance through Romeu, but Romero made the save to keep his side in the match. The Argentinian seems to have control of his area, playing well and being on par with most things which threaten his goal. Eleven minutes into the second half and 40% of the action has been in United’s final third with the home side threatening.

Just before the hour, Southampton had another chance to break the deadlock through Jack Stephens, but United, albeit luckily, did what they needed to do to clear the ball. Moments later, the home side forced another good save from Romero, who dived at full stretch to clear the threat, giving away a corner, which was cleared by Fellaini. Maya Yoshida had a chance to take the lead for the home side, but Jones stopped his man from scoring. Another corner for the home side, again cleared by Fellaini, but Southampton had the ball at the edge of United’s area. In the 64th minute of the match, Michael Carrick replaced Axel Tuanzebe as United’s first substitution of the evening, not long after Gabbiadini was replaced by Jay Rodriguez for the home side.

United made their second change of the evening in the 69th minute with Marcus Rashford replacing Mata, who went straight down the tunnel, without a physio alleviating fears he might be injured. Moments later, the home side made their second change with Jeremy Pied replacing Cedric. United had a great chance in the 72nd minute with Anthony Martial hitting the post and Mkhitaryan hitting the rebound off target and into the stands. United made their third and final change of the match with Ander Herrera replacing Fellaini in the 75th minute of the match. In the 77th minute of the match, Southampton made their third and final change with Sofiane Boufal coming on for James Ward-Prowse.

Southampton had another chance to break the deadlock through Rodriguez from an offside position but missed the target. Neither the referee or the linesman gave the offside, though. With just under ten minutes remaining, it was still 0-0 with credible chances for both teams but nothing getting through for either team. Boufal had another chance in the 83rd minute, going for the top corner but his shot not being on target. United seemed to be inviting Southampton into their area, not looking to advance and try and score for themselves. Four minutes were added on at the end of the second half

Manchester United: Romero; Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Darmian; Tuanzebe (Carrick 64′), Fellaini; Mata (Rashford 69′), Rooney, Mkhitaryan; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Mitchell; Lingard, McTominay

Bookings: Phil Jones 51′

Team News: Martial starts against Southampton

Manchester United face Southampton at St Mary’s in the penultimate Premier League match. The last two matches have been defeats for United, who now cannot finish inside the top four in the league, meaning the only realistic chance of playing UEFA Champions League football next season will be earned by the team winning the UEFA Europa League in a weeks time in Sweden. United have not had a bad season, winning the FA Community Shield and the EFL Cup – possibly even ending with a European trophy, the only major honour that United have not won in their trophy-laden history. United will be faced with a tough Southampton side, who were hard to beat in the EFL Cup final back in February, challenging for a European place themselves, which could happen based on who wins the Emirates FA Cup and whether United win in Sweden next week. With West Bromwich Albion being beaten by Manchester City on Tuesday night, their chances are much better.

Manchester United:


Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Darmian;

Tuanzebe, Fellaini;

Mata, Rooney, Mkhitaryan;



Pereira; Mitchell; Lingard, Carrick, Herrera, McTominay; Rashford



Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Targett;

Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Davis;

Redmond, Gabbiadini, Tadic


Hassen; Caceres; Clasie, Boufal, Pied; Rodriguez, Austin

United and Southampton have a history going back to 1897 with the first match between the two sides being played on the 13th February that year, a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup. Since then, a total of 120 matches have been played between the two sides. United have won 63 times, drawn 29 times, losing to Southampton 28 times. Eleven matches have been played between the two sides at St Mary’s with United winning all but two; one a draw and the other a defeat. United will be looking to continue their winning form at St Mary’s.

Key Battles: Bailly, Pogba and Rashford key to beating Southampton

Manchester United face Southampton at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Wednesday, the penultimate league match of the season. United have been beaten in their last two Premier League matches, both in London; 2-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates and 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in the last ever match at White Hart Lane, as we know it. Jose Mourinho will be looking to return to winning ways in the league ahead of the UEFA Europa League final, which could give the team a negative mindset if they keep losing. Against Southampton, who could be playing for European football next season, which is dependent on various scenarios actually happening, which will fire them up ahead of the new season, which could see them with another new manager, if rumours are correct. There will be a number of key battles against Southampton, of which this could be three of them…

Eric Bailly -v- Manolo Gabbiadini

This season Eric Bailly has been the best central defender at the club, closely matched by Marcos Rojo, who suffered a season-ending injury to his knee against Anderlecht at Old Trafford last month. Bailly was sent off in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo, which will see him miss the final – a big blow for United, especially in that Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will be part of the squad, both of whom are not they players they could have been. The Ivorian averages nine defensive actions in the Premier League this season, having played 23 matches in the competition. He helps United with their passing, averaging 87% successfully finding a teammate. Bailly may have to deal with Manolo Gabbiadini, who has scored six goals for his club in all competitions this season. Gabbiadini has played eight times in the league this season, scoring four goals. That might not be deemed much of a threat, but in the EFL Cup final at Wembley, Gabbiadini was in form and raring to go, scoring twice and could have had a hat-trick, should another not have been ruled out.

Paul Pogba -v- Jordy Clasie

Paul Pogba was a big miss against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday, but due to the death of his father, he was given time away from the club to pay his respects. This season the French international has played 29 times in the league, scoring four goals. His creativity is something United cannot live without this season, creating 55 chances for his teammates for them to spurn, which has been an issue for much of the season. United started well, scoring plenty of goals, but that soon turned to frustration with many being frustrated with Pogba for not scoring more, when in fact, it was the advanced attacking players not dealing with the chances he has created for them, most of which have gone to waste. Pogba is a big player in the midfield and will have battles with many players, possible Jordy Clasie. Clasie is a player who was once linked to Manchester United, albeit under the management of Louis van Gaal with many Dutch players being linked to the club. Clasie could be the guy to try and stop Pogba in his tracks, should he play. His passing stands at 85%, which is good. He also averages two defensive actions per match, which could be the difference between United scoring and Southampton keeping a clean sheet.

Marcus Rashford -v- Maya Yoshida

Marcus Rashford is the man of the moment at Manchester United, tasked with scoring the goals after the injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic last month. Rashford has done the business for United, helping them through in the Europa League and scoring a crucial goal against Chelsea last month. It is early days for the 19-year-old, but at this stage of the season, everything seems to be on him at being able to find the back of the net to ensure United achieve what they crave for – UEFA Champions League football. Rashford has played 31 times in the Premier League this season, scoring five goals, which is not all that bad considering he has been played as a winger for much of the season, with Ibrahimovic leading the line. The England international has created 19 chances for his teammates, but will be the target man should he play against Southampton. Maya Yoshida could be tasked with dealing with Rashford with Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines through injury. Yoshida has 20 appearances to his name in the Premier League this season, scoring one goal. Yoshida is a threat going forward, creating four chances for his teammates. Keeping Rashford at bay may be his main responsibility in that if the Saints can silence Rashford, they could silence United and frustrate them even more.

Preview: Mourinho looking to beat Southampton maintaining St Mary’s record?

Southampton -v- Manchester United

St Mary’s, Southampton

Premier League 2016/17

Wednesday 17th May 2017; KO 19:45 BST

Live on Sky Sports 1 HD

Manchester United will be back on the road again this week as they head to Southampton to play their final away match of the Premier League season, which is also the penultimate match of the season, in the league at least. United are currently sixth in the Premier League, not the first they have been there this season, spending more than 100 days in the position earlier in the season, with Arsenal moving down when United occupied the fifth place in their quest for a top-four finish – which came to an end last weekend when United were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal. On Sunday, United played in the last ever match at White Hart Lane as we know it, losing 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur which saw United go 2-0 down before Wayne Rooney scored what turned into a consolation goal. United were a shadow of themselves – just not looking like a team who wanted to win, let alone cause a sour celebration in North London with Spurs players from yesteryear celebrating the 118-year lifespan of the stadium.

On Wednesday evening, United will be pitted against a Southampton side who put them to the test in the EFL Cup final just over two months ago. This time, in the penultimate Premier League match of the season, the Saints will be targeting European football as there will be a chance that UEFA Europa League football could be given to teams in seventh, eighth and even ninth – only if Arsenal win the Emirates FA Cup and United win the UEFA Europa League. Teams in seventh and eighth could play European football if either United or Arsenal win a trophy before the end of the season, so for the Saints, West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth there will be a race to finish in the eighth place, with Bournemouth looking out of sorts with their goal difference, but for Southampton and West Brom, there could be a battle this week – both facing Manchester teams, which could be tough for them. Many United supporters will be expecting youth to be given a chance, but with the Premier League rules stating teams will need to play their strongest sides, especially when European places could be at stake, could deter Jose Mourinho from making that happen.

Of course, United and Mourinho may opt to play a few young players in the team, which has been the case against Arsenal and Spurs with Axel Tuanzebe starting both matches and Scott McTominay making his debut late on at the Emirates. Players such as Joel Pereira, Matthew Olosunde, Demetri Mitchell and Matty Willock – all of whom have been involved in first team training this season and with Pereira making his debut against Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup – it is only a matter of time before these players make the first team. Jose Mourinho must be impressed with them if he is giving them the time to train with the first team and giving them a number and including them in United’s matchday squads, which has been the case with most of the names mentioned. The future seems to be bright for Manchester United and their youth and hopefully, before the end of the season, we will see some of this youth take their chances in the first team. Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday might be the match to blood more than one name into the team as Palace are safe in the Premier League and have nothing to play for this season.

Match Officials: Mike Dean set to officiate on an important night in Southampton

Mike Dean will officiate the match at St Mary’s on Wednesday evening. This will be the 34th match of Dean’s season of which he has been in charge of 27 Premier League matches, two Championship matches, one League One match, two Emirates FA Cup matches and one EFL Cup match – this match will be his 28th Premier League match this season. This will be the fifth time Dean has taken charge of a match involving United and the fourth involving Southampton. During United matches, Dean has shown eight yellow cards to United players; during Southampton matches, he has shown two yellow cards and one red to Southampton players. Ian Hussin and Simon Long have been named as the assistant referees and Graham Scott will be the fourth official.

Form: United could have two trophies in the bag at the end of the season, so it has not been all bad!

Manchester United: Last season, United finished in fifth place, which is still a possibility this season, but a slim one. Finishing sixth is a new low for United – who finished seventh under the leadership of David Moyes, fourth and fifth under Louis van Gaal and seemingly sixth under Mourinho. However, Mourinho has won the FA Community Shield – which Moyes did too, adding the EFL Cup to that. Louis van Gaal won the Emirates FA Cup. Mourinho could add the UEFA Europa League trophy to his haul as a United manager, which would mean only Chelsea, in England at least, have had a better season than United. In the league, United have a lot to do to become the team many will be expecting next season – title challengers. There is currently a long way off the likes of Chelsea, which will need to be addressed in the summer with incomings and deadwood being expunged from the club.

Southampton: Southampton have declined since last season where they finished sixth – this season they ninth place with a chance of rising to eighth, which currently is separated by goal difference. There is still a chance to play in Europe next season for the South Coast club who could have a new manager in the form of Marco Silva if reports are true at this moment in time. This season, the Saints made a cup final – beaten by Manchester United, but that will be a point which will show how well they have done outside of the league, apart from the Europa League with them being knockout out in the qualification places. Southampton are a good side, Liverpool holds a lot of interest in their players, so they are doing something right. Not that these players are going to achieve much with the Merseyside club being 27 years away from their last league title, winning them before Christmas and declining massively from the chase for the title when it counts.

Who are the top scorers at both Manchester United and Southampton this season?

Manchester United: 28 – Zlatan Ibrahimović, 12 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 8 – Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, 7 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Jesse Lingard, 4 – Marouane Fellaini, 2 – Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling, 1 – Daley Blind, Own Goal, Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio Valencia

Southampton: 9 – Charlie Austin, 8 – Nathan Redmond, 6 – Manolo Gabbiadini, Jay Rodriguez, 5 – Shane Long, 4 – Virgil van Dijk, James Ward-Prowse, 3 – Ryan Bertrand, Dusan Tadic, 2 – Sofiane Boufal, Jordy Clasie, Maya Yoshida 1 – Jake Hesketh, Oriol Romeu

Team News: Injuries, injuries, and more injuries. On the bright side, Marouane Fellaini is back for United!

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be without Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Timothy Fosu-Mensah for the remainder of the season due to injury. Marouane Fellaini is eligible to face Southampton in the Premier League after serving his three-match suspension for a headbutt on Sergio Aguero in the Manchester derby only a few weeks ago. Mourinho will be looking ahead to the UEFA Europa League a week from this match, so he may opt to keep the players that he will be looking to start, out of action, which may be a bit too early. Paul Pogba missed the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur due to the death of his father, and he could be back in action midweek, which would strengthen United significantly in the midfield. Southampton manager Claude Puel looks set to be without Alex McCarthy and Virgil van Dijk, the latter being a big blow for his defence. With the pre-match press conferences not yet taking place, confirmation on the players who will miss the match has not been made, but in the case of United’s players, Mourinho has already ruled them out for the remainder of the season.

Previous Meetings: A rich history between the two sides with United winning 63 times in 120 matches

Manchester United and Southampton have a history going back to 1897 with the first match between the two sides being played on the 13th February that year, a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup. Since then, a total of 120 matches have been played between the two sides. United have won 63 times, drawn 29 times, losing to Southampton 28 times. The last defeat to Southampton was only last season at Old Trafford, a 1-0 defeat in the Premier League. This season, United have faced Southampton twice, winning 2-0 in the Premier League at Old Trafford, with a brace from the now injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also winning 3-2 in the EFL Cup final at Wembley in February, again with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring important goals – one either side of Jesse Lingard’s 38th minute strike. United recently went eleven matches unbeaten against Southampton in all domestic competitions from the 3-2 victory on the 31st January 2004 right the way through to the 2-1 victory on the 8th December 2014. Since then, five matches have been played with United winning three and Southampton winning the other two. Eleven matches have been played between the two sides at St Mary’s with United winning all but two; one a draw and the other a defeat. United will be looking to continue their winning form at St Mary’s.

Starting XI Prediction: Who is going to start against Southampton?

Predicted Score:

Southampton 1-2 Manchester United

Report: Lingard and a brace from Ibrahimovic win the EFL Cup for United

Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in the EFL Cup final with Zlatan Ibrahimovic opening the scoring for United and Jesse Lingard doubling the lead less than twenty minutes later. Manolo Gabbiadini scored in the dying seconds of the first half to give Southampton something heading into the second half. Gabbiadini then equalised for United early in the second half, with United battling to take control of the match, which came three minutes from time, in Fergie time with Zlatan scoring his 26th goal of the season and winning the cup for United.

Jose Mourinho made six changes to his side ahead of the Southampton match with David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial return to the starting XI. The Portuguese manager will be looking to end the day on a high, getting United’s first trophy of the season and his reign at the club in the bag. This match is Mourinho’s thirteenth cup final and he has won ten of the twelve already played. Only Benfica and Atletico Madrid have stopped Mourinho from winning back in 2004 and 2013. United started the match well, but Southampton were equally as good in the opening few minutes.

In the fourth minute of the match, Paul Pogba had the first shot on goal for United, stinging the palms of Fraser Forster, which was unlucky. Five minutes later Ryan Bertrand had a shot for Southampton but saw his low effort deflected wide of the target. Two minutes later Southampton scored through Manolo Gabbiadini but it was disallowed for offside. In the 19th minute, United opened the scoring with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a free-kick from 25-yards past Forster which was his 25th goal of the season so far, his second at Wembley this season.

In the 24th minute of the match, Ander Herrera was booked for a challenge on Nathan Redmond and he made a meal of the challenge. Gary Neville said it should have been a free-kick, not a booking. Minutes after the booking, Southampton were on the attack once again with James Ward-Prowse, whose effort was stopped with a fine low save by David De Gea. In the 32nd minute of the match, De Gea thwarted an effort from Dusan Tadic, which could have been the equaliser. Both teams are up for the challenge today and United are not playing anywhere near their best.

United doubled their lead in the 38th minute of the match with Marcos Rojo setting Jesse Lingard up to score his second cup final goal of his United career. United were 2-0 up over Southampton, who had not been playing too badly, but this match was not over yet. Minutes after the goal, Southampton were battling to get something from the game and Jack Stephens was impeded by Lingard, he then fouled Anthony Martial and was booked, as was Lingard for his part in the fracas. Southampton were awarded a free-kick, which amounted to nothing for them.

A minute into the two minutes of added time at the end of the first half, Gabbiadini got a goal back for Southampton in the dying seconds of the first half with them very much back in the game with more to do from United. United had been warned earlier in the game when Gabbiadini’s effort was ruled out for offside that Southampton have the pace and ability to cost them. In the second half, United needed to stay on top of the threat and go for victory. The first half ended 2-1, with United still in the lead, but with a chance of Southampton making it a tough day for them.

At the start of the second half Michael Carrick replaced Juan Mata with Jose Mourinho looking to give United more control of the ball in midfield. Almost from the off Southampton were looking to get back into the match with an equaliser. Nathan Redmond had his effort thwarted by De Gea with a great reflex save. The equaliser came moments later through Gabbiadini, scoring his third goal of the game, his first was disallowed for offside. United were back to square one with everything to do in the match. Lingard looked to be on dangerous ground after being booked in the first half and still putting in poor challenges. Could let the side down today.

United had been shown many time by Southampton just how dangerous they can be and the warning signs were still coming, but United were just not able to thwart the chances from coming, just luck being the only factor in United not conceding again this afternoon. Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial could have made the difference for United on the attack, but neither took their chance to hit the ball towards goal with both seemingly up for the chance. Communication was not at the top of their minds at that moment, obviously.

United were still looking for another goal, as were Southampton. Jesse Lingard broke through, assisted by Martial who played a clever ball into the box, but Maya Yoshida challenged Lingard, stretching to put the ball out for a corner. United took the corner quickly, but could not threaten Southampton or do anything to even create a third opportunity for a goal. in the 76th minute of the match, after some good interplay United had the chance to find their third goal with Lingard striking it from the cross. The attempt was off target, flying over the crossbar. Not long left for United to take the lead again. Marcus Rashford replaced Lingard moments later.

United left it late to get themselves ahead again, not for the want of trying. Ibrahimovic was left open on the run towards goal after picking the ball up just inside the Southampton half, running towards goal. Marcus Rashford was in the box, but could not be reached by the Swedish veteran striker, instead he passed into midfield with Ander Herrera passing it to Zlatan who buried home his second goal of the game and his 26th so far this season. United were 3-2 up. Wayne Rooney was waiting to come on when the goal was scored, the change was then changed with Marouane Fellaini replacing Martial with United needing to see out added time, of which four minutes was playable.

United have won their 44th major trophy with a 3-2 victory over Southampton, who lose their second League Cup final in 37 years. Mourinho has won a major trophy in his first season in charge of the club.

Goals: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 19′, 87′, Jesse Lingard 38′

Assists: Marcos Rojo 38′, Ander Herrera 87′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 77′), Mata (Carrick 46′), Martial (Fellaini 90′); Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Blind, Young; Rooney

Bookings: Ander Herrera 24′, Jesse Lingard 41′

Written by Mike Wilson

Ibrahimovic, Herrera, Pogba, Martial and Bailly start against Southampton

Manchester United go head to head with Southampton in the EFL Cup final at Wembley this afternoon. This is United’s ninth League Cup final, the second for Southampton. United have won the cup four times, Southampton have never lifted the cup before. This will be a tough match for both teams for various reasons. United have played three matches in the past fortnight and Southampton have had a break as they are no longer involved in the UEFA Europa League or the Emirates FA Cup. The break may well be of benefit for Southampton, but it could easily go against them as United will be fitter than their opposition.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo;

Herrera, Pogba;

Lingard, Mata, Martial;



Romero; Blind, Young; Carrick, Fellaini; Rooney, Rashford



Cedric, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand;

Romeu, Davis;

Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond;



Hassen; Long, Rodriguez, Caceres, Boufal, Hojbjerg, McQueen

Manchester United and Southampton have faced each other 119 times since 1897 with United winning 62 matches, drawing 29 and losing just 28. Since the year 2000, United and Southampton have met 23 times, three of those in the Emirates FA Cup, 20 in the Premier League. United have lost just four matches, drawing twice. This is good form for United against the South Coast side. Jose Mourinho will be looking to continue this form against Southampton and break records by winning a major trophy in his debut season – something which a United manager has failed to so in the history of the club.

Preview: Mourinho out to break records winning first trophy in first season?

EFL Cup final 2016/17

Wembley Stadium, London

Sunday 26th February 2017; KO 16:30 GMT

Live on Sky Sports

Manchester United will battle Southampton to win the first silverware of the season in the EFL Cup final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. United have had a good season so far with Jose Mourinho helping to turn things around from a previous three poor seasons following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in May 2013. United have won the FA Community Shield twice and the Emirates FA Cup in the time Ferguson has spent out of football management, which is not that great based on the standards the gaffer set at the club during his nearly 27-year reign. United have been guided by David Moyes, Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal and now Mourinho, the latter seems to be finding his feet, getting things done and getting United ready to challenge for trophies.

Mourinho could be the first manager of United to win a major trophy in his first season in charge of the club, but the Portuguese may not stop there as United are the only team to still be in four competitions this season. United will face FC Rostov in the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League next month, also face Chelsea in the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup and still find themselves in a good position in the Premier League, although it would be very unlikely for Mourinho’s side to lift the trophy at the season’s end, but they do stand a good chance of bettering their current position in the league. United may not be amazing their supporters, but they do seem to be getting the backs up f their rivals, which is a good thing.

Match Officials:

Andre Marriner has been appointed as the referee for the Wembley final with Richard West and Stuart Burt as the assistant referees. The fourth official will be Kevin Friend.

Road To Wembley:

Manchester United commenced their participation in the EFL Cup in the third round, beating Northampton Town 3-1 with Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford all scoring. In the fourth round, United were drawn again local rivals Manchester City, beating them 1-0 through a Juan Mata goal. In the fifth round, United faced West Ham United just days after a 1-1 draw in the Premier League, winning 4-1 with braces from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial. United were drawn against Hull City in the semi-final which was played over two legs. United won the first at Old Trafford with a 2-0 scoreline with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini scoring the goals. In the second leg, United fell to a 2-1 defeat with Paul Pogba scoring United’s goal.

Southampton commenced their EFL Cup run in the third round by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 with goals from Charlie Austin and Jake Hesketh. In the fourth round, they were drawn against Sunderland, winning 1-0 with the only goal of the game scored by Sofiane Boufal. Southampton were then drawn against Arsenal beating them 2-0 with goals scored by Jordy Classie and Ryan Bertrand. The semi-final saw Claude Puel’s side draw against Liverpool beating them 1-0 in the first leg with Nathan Redmond scoring the goal, then winning by the same scoreline in the second leg, with Shane Long scoring in injury time.

League Cup History:

Manchester United have reached the League Cup final eight times in the history of the club, winning the cup on four occasions. United were beaten 2-1 by Liverpool in 1983, then were beaten 1-0 by Sheffield Wednesday in 1991, beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa in 1994 and then suffered a 2-0 defeat by Liverpool again in 2003. United won the League Cup for the first time by beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 in 1992, winning it for the second time in 2006, beating Wigan Athletic 4-0. United then won the League Cup twice on the bounce in 2009 beating Tottenham Hotspur on penalties then retaining the trophy for the first time since Nottingham Forest did in 1990 by beating Aston Villa in 2010. Southampton have made it to the League Cup final once in the history of the club, being beaten 3-2 by Nottingham Forest in 1979. This will be United’s ninth League Cup final, Southampton’s second. Liverpool have been involved in the most finals – twelve in total – winning eight.

Team News:

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is the only Manchester United player that has been ruled out of the EFL Cup final on Sunday, but he has travelled to the capital for the match. Michael Carrick was another player likely to miss the match after suffering a calf injury, but he has been ruled fit for the match, as has United captain Wayne Rooney with Jose Mourinho confirming he will play a part in the match. Southampton have Sofiane Boufal, who could make the final, but Virgil van Dijk, Charlie Austin, Alex McCarthy, Matt Targett and Jeremy Pied have been ruled out. United will feel that Mkhitaryan’s injury will cost them more, but with the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata able to step in, the strength-in-depth will be shown by Mourinho.

Previous Meetings:

Manchester United have met Southampton 119 times in all competitions since 1897. United have won 62 matches, drawing 29 times with Southampton winning 28 matches. Southampton last beat United on the 23rd January 2016 in the Premier League with Charlie Austin scoring three minutes from time. This season, United have played Southampton once already, winning 2-0 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring both goals, one from the penalty spot. United were due to meet Southampton in the coming weeks, but participation in the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final meant the match was postponed for a future date which is as yet unknown. Since the year 2000, United have played Southampton 23 times with only four matches being lost and two being drawn – all in the Premier League. In the FA Cup, United have been drawn against Southampton three times since 2000, winning all three in 2005, 2009 and 2011.

Starting XI Prediction:

Match Prediction:

Manchester United 2-0 Southampton

Written by Mike Wilson

copyright: JW