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Ratings: Cavani is a cracking player; Fernandes dug in and Henderson positive after league debut as United beat the Saints 3-2

Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be relieved after seeing his side go 2-0 down in the first half and lose David De Gea to a knock, which saw Dean Henderson make his Premier League debut for the club. Bruno Fernandes got United back into the game with his goal in the 60th minute of the match and a brace from Edinson Cavani (74′ and 90+2′) got United another three points on the road this season, which is where they have played their best football, only winning at home to West Bromwich Albion for the first time in the league this season last weekend.

United started well against the Saints and were seeking to pressure the home side from the very start of the match. Mason Greenwood had the chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute of the match but his left-footed shot was wide of the target. Bruno Fernandes then had a chance nine minutes later, shooting wide of the target. The Saints took the lead in the 23rd minute of the match from a corner taken by James Ward-Prowse which found Jan Bednarek inside the box for the Polish defender to head past David De Gea. The Saints seemed to have risen to United’s challenge and were pushing to ensure they cause maximum damage.

United did not recover from the opening goal with the Saints turning the tide and pressuring United and their shaky defence, which seemed inept at times in the first half. The quick passing and the attacking threat made United look poor and ten minutes after the opening goal, Ward-Prowse scored himself from a free-kick with De Gea reaching the ball and getting half a hand on it but was unable to stop the strike from being scored. United were 2-0 down with a lot of soul searching to be done to get back into the match. United never really got themselves back into the match before the end of the first half. There will be a lot to play for now.

At the start of the second half, United made a double substitution with Dean Henderson replacing De Gea and Edinson Cavani replacing Greenwood. Seven minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford has a chance on goal which was saved by Alex McCarthy. Cavani had a chance, winning a corner for United, which came to nothing. United eventually scored in the 60th minute of the match through Fernandes, assisted by Cavani whose cross picked out the Portuguese midfielder who showed his clinical edge to get United back into the match. Cavani scored the equaliser for United in the 74th minute of the match with a superb header.

Despite looking settled for the draw and a point, United continued to break forward and create. Cavani scored the winning in the second minute of stoppage time, despite other chances to do the same. Like his first goal in the match, the winner came off his head. United seemed dead and buried as they conceded the second goal of the match to go 2-0 down by Fernandes’ goal in the second half, followed by the equaliser gave United the impetus to continue breaking forward and find that winning goal. They have shot up to seventh in the league with this win and will now be getting ready to face Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded twice in ten minutes during the first half. Ward-Prowse swung a corner in for Bednarek to head home and Ward-Prowse scoring from a free-kick ten minutes later. The Spaniard seemed to suffer a knock in the second goal, which is worrying. He was replaced by Henderson at the start of the second half.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Defensively, Wan-Bissaka did well against Southampton and played better in the second half. He ability to tackle, at last-ditch is second to none and it shows how he is as a player. I say this often but he needs to start offering more going forward.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Did not concede in open play. Seemed determined to get United back in the game from 2-0 and as we saw, they got back into the game, levelled the game and won the game.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led the team from behind to victory. United need to get better defensively. January should see United looking to sign a player to improve the defence. This will be the area that lets United down this season, especially with many injury prone players in the team.

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27 Alex Telles

Played well against Southampton at left-back. It is good to see a player that can offer more than Shaw has at the club. Despite going 2-0 down in the first half and levelling (2-2) by the 74th minute, Telles did well, getting forward a lot of the time. He was replaced by Williams in the 84th minute of the match.

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17 Fred

Played some good football against Southampton but many will not recognise that as they only want to see Pogba play dire football as he's 'the man' apparently. Fred offers United something, his work rate is good and he's been in good form recently. Just because he does not score regularly does not mean he's rubbish.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Slow at times but defensively, he can pull it out of the bag and help United, not that it happened for both Southampton goals, which came from set-pieces.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Did well in midfield in a match which perhaps saw the worst of United in the first half and the best of United in the second half. It was good to see him start again. Hopefully he starts against PSG on Wednesday too.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Seemed off against the Saints. Had a good chance on goal in the 16th minute but was off target. On the hour mark of the match, the Portuguese midfielder got United back in the game after Cavani assisted for him. Assisted for Cavani 14 minutes later to level the game for United.

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11 Mason Greenwood

His finishing was poor. He could have put United ahead in the seventh minute of the match. He was replaced by Cavani in the 46th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

His pace is great for United but at this moment in time, Rashford is either in form or he's not. At the moment, he seems to be in the latter. Had the chance to score for United in the second half, running through on goal but could not beat the goalkeeper. Got an assist for Cavani's winner in added time.

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Substitutes

26 Dean Henderson

Replaced De Gea 46'. Was not really tested by Southampton, who did all their scoring in the first half of the match. Good to see him make his United debut in the Premier League though. If De Gea is out for any length of time, I am sure he can fill the void, if needed.

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7 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Greenwood 46'. Assisted for Fernandes to put United back in the game and scored, assisted by Fernandes 14 minutes later to level the game. He's a cracking striker to have at the club. Another 30+ player with skill and class. Age is but a number. He scored the winner in the second minute of added time showing his class with another sublime header.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Telles 84'. Came on late in the game with United drawing 2-2 at the time. Did his job and United went on to get the win.

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Goals: Jan Bednarek 23′, James Ward-Prowse 33′; Bruno Fernandes 60′, Edinson Cavani 74′, 90+2′

Assists: James Ward-Prowse 23′; Edinson Cavani 60′, Bruno Fernandes 74′, Marcus Rashford 90+2′

Manchester United: De Gea (Henderson 46′); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles (Williams 84′); Fred, Matic, Van de Beek; Fernandes; Greenwood (Cavani 46′), Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe; Mata, James

Bookings: James Ward-Prowse 16′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Rashford, Greenwood and Fernandes lead the line against the Saints; Van de Beek starts again

Manchester United return to Premier League action as they face Southampton at St Mary’s this afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be fresh from their 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, which saw a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a goal each from Marcus Rashford (from the penalty spot) and Daniel James, who scored his first goal of the season and his first in the UEFA Champions League during his career, which will have been a big occasion for him. Southampton will have had more rest being that they played a day before United, despite United also playing on Saturday evening.

United will be seeking to end November on a high, especially with nine matches to play in December – five of those to be played in a 12-day period between the 17th and 29th December. Solskjaer will be looking to keep United on the right track, which they seem to be on right now after their defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir just over three weeks ago, winning their last three matches in a row. With December looking like an important month, Solskjaer will be seeking to put United towards the top of the table, which is a possibility. United are not a terrible team but they have been playing terribly, perhaps because of a lack of pre-season this summer.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles;

Fred, Matic, Van de Beek;

Fernandes;

Greenwood, Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Fosu-Mensah, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, James; Cavani

Southampton:

McCarthy;

Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand;

Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo;

Walcott, Adams

Substitutes:

Forster, Stephens, Long, Obafemi, Tella, Diallo, N’Lundulu

United and the Saints have played a total of 42 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 26 times, the Saints have won seven times and the two teams have drawn nine times. United have scored 84 goals against the Saints; winning three penalties – scoring one of them. The Saints have scored 48 goals against United; winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept 11 clean sheets against Southampton with the Saints keeping six. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 55 yellow cards and one red card whereas the Saints have been shown 68 yellow cards and one red card.

In the last two Premier League matches played, neither team has won. At St Mary’s, which was played on the 31 August 2019, it was a 1-1 draw with Daniel James opening the scoring in the tenth minute of the match and Jannik Vestergaard scoring the equaliser in the 58th minute. Kevin Danso was sent off (second yellow card) in the 72nd minute of the match. At Old Trafford, which was played on the 13 July 2020, it was a 2-2 draw with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring in the 12th minute, Marcus Rashford equalising in the 20th minute, Anthony Martial putting United ahead in the 23rd minute and Michael Obafemi equalising in added time.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Fernandes, Van de Beek, Williams and Tuanzebe to start against Southampton at St Mary’s?

Manchester United return to Premier League action as they face Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be fresh from their 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, which saw a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a goal each from Marcus Rashford (from the penalty spot) and Daniel James, who scored his first goal of the season and his first in the UEFA Champions League during his career, which will have been a big occasion for him. Southampton will have had more rest being that they played a day before United, despite United also playing on Saturday evening.

United will be seeking to end November on a high, especially with nine matches to play in December – five of those to be played in a 12-day period between the 17th and 29th December. Solskjaer will be looking to keep United on the right track, which they seem to be on right now after their defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir just over three weeks ago, winning their last three matches in a row. With December looking like an important month, Solskjaer will be seeking to put United towards the top of the table, which is a possibility. United are not a terrible team but they have been playing terribly, perhaps because of a lack of pre-season this summer.

How United have faired against Southampton in the Premier League.

United and the Saints have played a total of 42 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 26 times, the Saints have won seven times and the two teams have drawn nine times. United have scored 84 goals against the Saints; winning three penalties – scoring one of them. The Saints have scored 48 goals against United; winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept 11 clean sheets against Southampton with the Saints keeping six. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 55 yellow cards and one red card whereas the Saints have been shown 68 yellow cards and one red card.

In the last two Premier League matches played, neither team has won. At St Mary’s, which was played on the 31 August 2019, it was a 1-1 draw with Daniel James opening the scoring in the tenth minute of the match and Jannik Vestergaard scoring the equaliser in the 58th minute. Kevin Danso was sent off (second yellow card) in the 72nd minute of the match. At Old Trafford, which was played on the 13 July 2020, it was a 2-2 draw with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring in the 12th minute, Marcus Rashford equalising in the 20th minute, Anthony Martial putting United ahead in the 23rd minute and Michael Obafemi equalising in added time.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has been slowly returning to the form we have witnessed during his time as United’s number one. Dean Henderson will be playing a big part in that because of his ability in the position, which will ultimately become his in a matter of time. The Spaniard has confidence behind him and the will to win and succeed. That is enough to see the best of the 30-year-old at a time where United will require a solid goalkeeper to grind out the results. Between now and the end of 2020, United will be seeking to rise towards the summit of the Premier League. Some say this is a bad season but when you look at the gap, with United’s game in hand, they could be in the mix with the right results.

Defenders: Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United could have a few injury problems in defence for this match with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof both on the sidelines which could see them its this match. In case that happens, Brandon Williams could feature in the right-back position with Axel Tuanzebe partnering Harry Maguire in the centre of the defence. Alex Telles should keep his place at left-back, despite the fact that Luke Shaw has returned to training, not that he would be in action against his former club as it might be a bit soon for him. Solskjaer will have an eye on the defence, which has been United’s Achilles heel this season with a view to strengthening in January.

Midfield Two: Donny van de Beek, Fred

The midfield is an area that is very light in competition at this moment in time with Paul Pogba injured and not in great form, also with Scott McTominay likely out of action for a while. This leaves Fred and Donny van de Beek as the best options at this moment in time with Nemanja Matic a likely option from the bench should United need more defensive ability in the positions. Fred has risen to become a big game player at the club with his work rate and eye for winning the ball. He has received criticism but his form is here. The Dutchman has not started all that often and played well earlier in the week so will deserve to keep his place in the team.

Attacking Midfield: Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood

This is the area where the goals could be coming from. Bruno Fernandes is in the form of his life at this moment in time and is currently the clubs top scorer with nine goals in all competitions so far this season. Anthony Martial played a bit better on the left-wing, the position he used to play in before being made the main striker at the club. With the ability of Cavani, it could bring the Frenchman up to speed as he is not the best leader of the line at the club. With Marcus Rashford carrying an injury and the fact he could miss this match, Mason Greenwood could be drafted in to play on the right-wing, a position he has played in for a while now.

Forward: Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan striker played some fantastic football against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Tuesday evening and showed a different dimension of attack for the club, which was a positive. Cavani should lead the linen against Southampton based purely on the fact that he is a predatory striker that can be in the box when needed but also create some build up play for his teammates. It could well be that Marcus Rashford misses the match through injury or only comes off the bench with a bid to keeping him fit for the busy month of December which will see United play nine matches in total.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Tim Fosu-Mensah; Paul Pogba, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic; Marcus Rashford

With just three substitutes permitted in the Premier League and other domestic competition this season, despite the UEFA Champions League having up to five substitutes, Solskjaer will be looking to have the best available players on the bench. Against Southampton, it is expected that Dean Henderson will be the substitute goalkeeper. In defence, Victor Lindelof could be involved if fit with Tim Fosu-Mensah covering in the fullback areas. In midfield; Paul Pogba, Daniel James and Nemanja Matic could be options. In attack, Marcus Rashford could come off the bench with a view to him not being fully fit to start but we shall see.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Southampton v Manchester United – Premier League

Southampton -v- Manchester United

Premier League

St Mary’s, Southampton

Sunday 29 November 2020, KO 14:00 GMT

Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: Marc Perry, Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Graham Scott

VAR: Martin Atkinson Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood

Manchester United return to Premier League action as they face Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be fresh from their 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, which saw a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a goal each from Marcus Rashford (from the penalty spot) and Daniel James, who scored his first goal of the season and his first in the UEFA Champions League during his career, which will have been a big occasion for him. Southampton will have had more rest being that they played a day before United, despite United also playing on Saturday evening.

United will be seeking to end November on a high, especially with nine matches to play in December – five of those to be played in a 12-day period between the 17th and 29th December. Solskjaer will be looking to keep United on the right track, which they seem to be on right now after their defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir just over three weeks ago, winning their last three matches in a row. With December looking like an important month, Solskjaer will be seeking to put United towards the top of the table, which is a possibility. United are not a terrible team but they have been playing terribly, perhaps because of a lack of pre-season this summer.

Manchester United: WWWLLW

Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 W, Everton 3-1 W, Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 L, Arsenal 1-0 L, RB Leipzig 5-0 W

Southampton: DWWWDW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 D, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Aston Villa 4-3 W, Everton 2-0 W, Chelsea 3-3 D, West Bromwich Albion 2-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes has scored nine goal so far this season with Marcus Rashford scoring eight. Danny Ings has five goals for the Saints, but he is out of action through injury for this match and the next few that follow it.

Manchester United Goals: 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 8 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, 1 – Edinson Cavani, Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United seem to have recovered form a season which has been mixed for them. In all competitions, they have won their last three matches; Everton 3-1, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 and Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 – scoring eight goals and conceding twice, also keeping one clean sheet. United sit in eleventh place in the Premier League after Newcastle United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday, which may chance again after Saturday’s matches are played. Solskjaer’s side should be seeking to increase their goal difference, which currently sits at -1 with all but one team above them in the positive numbers.

Southampton Goals: 5 – Danny Ings, 3 – Che Adams, James Ward-Prowse, 2 – Jannik Vestergaard, 1 – Stuart Armstrong, Moussa Djenepo, Oriol Romeu, Theo Walcott

Southampton have had a largely positive season and it will probably be one to remember for the clubs supporters. Nine matches played in the Premier League, winning five, drawing two and losing two, which saw them at the summit of the table in the past few weeks. They have a four-point cushion over United, so a defeat will not see United leapfrog them, which will be a positive. However, a defeat will derail their good form at this stage of the season, undefeated in their last six matches, winning four and drawing twice. The Saints will remain tricky opposition for United and both teams will be looking to not share the points, like last season.

Team News: Solskjaer could see up to nine players miss the match against the Saints at St Mary’s with the South Coast club likely to be without up to four players due to injury.

United currently have Phil Jones (knee) and Luke Shaw (thigh). Jesse Lingard (coronavirus), Paul Pogba (ankle), Scott McTominay (other) and Eric Bailly (muscular) all have 25% chances of being available for the trip to St Mary’s on Sunday. Victor Lindelof (lower back), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (ankle/foot) and Marcus Rashford (other) have 75% chances of being involved this weekend, which leaves Solskjaer sweating it out regarding his squad which will travel to Southampton likely to me missing a few faces. United have a big squad but some of these players are the first names on the team sheet when fit, so those missing will be missed.

Southampton currently have both Danny Ings (knee) and Nathan Redmond (thigh) on the sidelines and it is unlikely that either will play a part against United this weekend. William Smallbone (thigh) has a 50% of being involved and will be subject to a late fitness test with Mohamed Salisu (other) also having a 50% chance of being fit. It has been a good season for Southampton, who in the past few weeks have been to the summit of the Premier League table, currently sitting in fifth place (before a ball has been kicked), four points clear of United, who sit in tenth place. United, though have only played eight matches to Southampton’s nine.

Predicted Starting XI: Cavani to lead the line against the Saints? Van de Beek to keep his place after his fantastic performance against Istanbul Basaksehir? Fernandes’ magic to continue?

Solskjaer will have a selection predicament ahead of the visit to Southampton this weekend. United have a fair few injury problems, which could run into next week, or longer but there are many positives because of this. Edinson Cavani led the line well against the Turkish side, showing a different dimension to United’s attacking play. Donny van de Beek also had a brilliant match playing in the centre of midfield, which should earn him another starting place this weekend. With Victor Lindelof suffering a recurrence of his lower back injury, Axel Tuanzebe could fill the void with United’s defence back to bare bones once again.

Match Prediction: In 42 Premier League matches, United have won 26 times with the Saints winning seven time – nine draws. Last season, neither team won home or away. This match could be a thriller considering both team’s form at this moment in time.

United and the Saints have played a total of 42 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 26 times, the Saints have won seven times and the two teams have drawn nine times. United have scored 84 goals against the Saints; winning three penalties – scoring one of them. The Saints have scored 48 goals against United; winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept 11 clean sheets against Southampton with the Saints keeping six. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 55 yellow cards and one red card whereas the Saints have been shown 68 yellow cards and one red card.

In the last two Premier League matches played, neither team has won. At St Mary’s, which was played on the 31 August 2019, it was a 1-1 draw with Daniel James opening the scoring in the tenth minute of the match and Jannik Vestergaard scoring the equaliser in the 58th minute. Kevin Danso was sent off (second yellow card) in the 72nd minute of the match. At Old Trafford, which was played on the 13 July 2020, it was a 2-2 draw with Stuart Armstrong opening the scoring in the 12th minute, Marcus Rashford equalising in the 20th minute, Anthony Martial putting United ahead in the 23rd minute and Michael Obafemi equalising in added time.

Southampton 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

What We’ve Learned: Daniel James is a star, Paul Pogba needs to improve, creativity lacking again, defensive weaknesses, and Mason Greenwood needs to start

Manchester United failed to return to winning ways against Southampton with a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon. Welshman Daniel James opened the scoring for United just ten minutes into the match with a sublime effort on goal. Jannik Vestergaard equalised in the second half before Kevin Danso was sent off.

Daniel James was the Man of the Match for me because of his hunger and desire to do everything for United. He has now scored three goals in four appearances, which is great to see after making his Premier League debut earlier this month. His growth since signing for United has been good to see. He will be a key player this season.

United really need to find a way to get things done this season or it will be frustrating for everyone other than the ABUs. As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Mason Greenwood regularly, he needs to be giving him more than ten minutes here and there. He’s clearly not ready to be the super-sub to find the goals that United need in order to win late in the game.

That will come for him in time. The pressure on his shoulders with a late substitution will do more damage than good. United need to develop his killer instinct and eye for goals, not frighten him and stunting his growth. More youth needs to be given the chance in this team this season; Angel Gomes, James Garner and Brandon Williams to name a few right now.

Daniel James is a great signing; he’s grown in confidence and becoming a star.

The 21-year-old scored again on his third start of his United career, his first goal on the road. He was the best player on the pitch and could have easily scored a few more goals, which is something he will learn from. Some of his teammates lacked the desire to find the winner against Southampton and the creativity was lacking in areas of the pitch.

James is a star and has matched Alexis Sanchez’s record at United with three Premier League goals in just three matches. When he scores two more goals, which is achievable this season, he will have matched Sanchez’s record at United in 18 months. The fans in the stadium sang; “James, James will tear you apart again,” after his goal, Cracking stuff.

Paul Pogba needs to buck up his ideas or face being dropped, if the manager has the balls to do it.

Paul Pogba had a bad game for United. To say he is a worldclass player is an embarrassment as it is clear that something is wrong somewhere. Yes, he wanted a new challenge as he stated in the summer. Real Madrid seemed interested in signing him, however, the fee that United wants for him, which is fair enough, is not going to be paid.

If Pogba realised that this is a professional game and all players need to be professional, he should take a leaf out of the books of other players who wanted to leave and were unable to do so. Matteo Darmian for example. After losing his place in the team three years ago, he wanted to leave. It never happened, until now, and he remained professional.

Darmian never once moaned, at least in public, about staying at United when his first-team football was going to suffer massively. He played seven times last season, seventeen the season before that. Pogba deserves to be dropped. United has done many things to accommodate him at the club and it still is not working. Maybe he expects to leave this summer?

The lack of creativity needs to be addressed by promoting youth who could embarrass some of the senior players.

When United played Chelsea, four goals were scored and it seemed to be the false dawn which led many to believe that things were falling into place. However, after a stagnant 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 1-1 draw away to Southampton since, it is clear to see the problems United face.

Creativity is a massive issue. Paul Pogba is not running the show like he could be doing. Scott McTominay is largely a defensive-minded player, which means the creativity needs to come from the three playing behind the striker and the fullbacks. Daniel James has done wonders, as has Aaron Wan-Bissaka marauding forward. However, something is wrong.

Jesse Lingard has been trusted to play in the number ten role. On his day, he’s a good player with pace. However, when you look at his creativity and goals scored, he’s out of his depth at United. There have been calls for Angel Gomes to take Lingard’s place since the Wolves match but he’s still not being picked, playing for the U23s on Friday evening, getting injured.

After the international break, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find solutions for a few problems. Blooding in youth could help solve them. The U23s have ben playing some good football this season. Implementing the likes of Greenwood, Gomes, Tahith Chong and James Garner could be a masterstroke for creativity. It will be a gamble but it has a good chance of paying off.

United need to find a solution in defence. Supporters will moan that Chris Smalling has been loaned if a player has a bad game.

Victor Lindelof did not have the best of matches for United against Southampton. It might have been an off day for the Swedish international or a sign on weakness. Chris Smalling was loaned to Roma for the rest of the season this week, something that fans have already moaned about, despite wanting to be rid of the player this summer.

Now, loaning the player, who is now, apparently, the second-best defender at the club, is a mistake, despite it being a blessing. These supporters moan at anything and everything and will use this during the course of the season. They were even moaning about Alexis Sanchez being loaned, despite him scoring five goals in 45 appearances.

If Lindelof is having an off period, bringing in Axel Tuanzebe, who proved to be a capable defender both at Aston Villa last season and during pre-season. It will allow him to grow further as a player and develop into the defender that United will need to play next to Harry Maguire who is the first-choice defender to start this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to stop praising players if they are not going to be given ample playing time this season.

The United manager has praised Mason Greenwood many times this season already. However, the 17-year-old, despite the manager talking about his killer instinct and natural finishing ability, has allowed him to play just 47 minutes out of a possible 360 minutes after four matches this season. Greenwood has, in my opinion, deserved to start ahead of others.

In order to allow the player to grow, the praise is great but giving him time to earn that praise on the pitch is needed. United need to find ways to win matches this season. The is a lot of negativity amongst the fanbase, who crave victory after victory, having grown up during the Sir Alex Ferguson era, becoming accustomed to the glory.

Greenwood need to come on at a time whereby the pressure to score a goal is not placed on him and that he feels that is not the case. He should start against Leicester City, as should other youth players who have already made their debuts, adding hunger and youth to the starting XI. The manager needs to have the balls to gamble though.

Ratings: Daniel James was the Man of the Match in Southampton draw; Mason Greenwood need to play more at this level

Manchester United failed to return to winning ways against Southampton with a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon. Welshman Daniel James opened the scoring for United just ten minutes into the match with a sublime effort on goal. Jannik Vestergaard equalised in the second half before Kevin Danso was sent off.

Daniel James was the Man of the Match for me because of his hunger and desire to do everything for United. He has now scored three goals in four appearances, which is great to see after making his Premier League debut earlier this month. His growth since signing for United has been good to see. He will be a key player this season.

United really need to find a way to get things done this season or it will be frustrating for everyone other than the ABUs. As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Mason Greenwood regularly, he needs to be giving him more than ten minutes here and there. He’s clearly not ready to be the super-sub to find the goals that United need in order to win late in the game.

That will come for him in time. The pressure on his shoulders with a late substitution will do more damage than good. United need to develop his killer instinct and eye for goals, not frighten him and stunting his growth. More youth needs to be given the chance in this team this season; Angel Gomes, James Garner and Brandon Williams to name a few right now.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper did not have a lot to do in the draw against Southampton although he denied a few opportunities for the home side. However, he conceded an equaliser with United lacking creativity to double their lead, despite putting Southampton under a lot of pressure, which they weathered.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The defender underlines during each performance just why he was signed this summer. The 21-year-old won tackles and got forward a few times during the match. It is great to see him on the right and I am sure he will become a good player for the club this season. However, United need to overturn this slump in form and get back to winning ways.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish defender was uneasy at times against Southampton. It was not a good period for him to be like this after the club loaned Chris Smalling to Roma. Some fans are already suggesting that was a mistake, despite wanting shot of Smalling. The international break might come at the right time for him to gain some form. However, Axel Tuanzebe might get a chance against Leicester City in a fortnight.

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5 Harry Maguire

Booked in the 40th minute of the game for a challenge in Adams. Calm and composed during the game for United, something that is great to see in the defence and seeing six years of panicking. Maguire played some good passes and tried to get United forward when he could. This is a work in progress and the past six years need to be archived to allow this to progress into something worthwhile.

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18 Ashley Young

The club captain played alright against Southampton. His delivery of set-pieces was not the best, an area United need to find improvement in. Young was present in attack with United banging on the door many times to find that winning goal which did not come.

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39 Scott McTominay

The Scotland international played the assist to James, which put United ahead ten minutes into the game. McTominay also performed a good block late in the first half, denying a goalscoring opportunity. The academy graduate got involved in tackling for the ball and broke forward on occasion. He was replaced by Greenwood in the last few minutes of the match.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman was not good enough against Southampton. In order to achieve at United, as the best player on paper, he needs to be his best on the pitch. Some will suggest I hate Pogba because I am criticising him again. However, he deserves the criticism. He might be playing deeper, but he should be capable of doing that. United has, over the last three years, made many different changes to accommodate him. He needs to do more to be worthy of playing for this great club.

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Andreas Pereira

I don’t think he’s the player that United need to be playing on the wing. He worked hard, which is great to see but in terms of being a player worthy of playing for United, his quality is lacking a lot. He can be a squad player, but in terms of starting, he needs to find a way to raise his game.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish magician played some good passes against the Saints. In terms of offering what United need right now, pace, ability, calmness under pressure and the hunger and desire to achieve for this club, Mata lacks in pace. His reading of the game is needed but he would need to fit into his surroundings and with quicker players around him, he might be more of a hindrance than a help.

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21 Daniel James

The 21-year-old put United ahead in the tenth minute with a stunning finish in which the supporters started to sing; “James, James will tear you apart again” in the stands. Three goals in four appearances, two of which in front of the Stretford End. Showing signs of becoming a great player for this club. The Welshman continually threatened the Saints and had other shots on goal. He got stuck into his defensive duties also, which was great to see.

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10 Marcus Rashford

he England forward did not do his starting position justice. When Anthony Martial is injured or out of form, Rashford should be able to be relied on. However, his showed glimpses of the player he was for the most part of last season. Frustrating and unable to inspire this team. It may have been a bad day at the office but if the likes of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong show more, he’s on the bench in this form.

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Substitutes

14 Jesse Lingard

eplaced Pereira 68'. The England forward played some good football with his running but his passing, especially final passes or shots were not good enough. Lingard may have lost his form but he continually gets picked and is still in the current England team. He is capable of things but like Nani, not often at this level. Lingard needs to work harder at perfecting his style of play which has an output. He’s nearing 27 and will be known as another player that never made the grade at this level.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Mata 68'. I would not have put Matic into this game. At the time of the substitution, I would have brought on Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Lingard to add pace to pressure Southampton. The Serbian may have experience but he’s becoming a liability. Chelsea seem to have sold him at the right time for them. Not good enough. James Garner will be better than him right now.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced McTominay 82'. The 17-year-old should have been brought on much earlier in the game. Solskjaer seems to praise him for his natural finishing ability and killer instinct but when he gets 10 minutes here and there, the praise is not going to do anything than make the manager look like a hypocrite. If he’s going to be used sparingly, stop praising him in public.

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Goals: Daniel James 10′

Assists: Scott McTominay 10′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay (Greenwood 82′), Pogba; Pereira (Lingard 68′), Mata (Matic 68′), James; Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Tuanzebe; Chong

Bookings: Kevin Danso 20′; Harry Maguire 40′

Report: Manchester United draw 1-1 with Southampton; Daniel James on the scoresheet for the third time this season

Manchester United failed to return to winning ways against Southampton with a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon. Welshman Daniel James opened the scoring for United just ten minutes into the match with a sublime effort on goal. Jannik Vestergaard equalised in the second half before Kevin Danso was sent off.

Southampton started well, on the front foot from the start of the match, pushing United back into their own half. United then got a break with Daniel James using his pace on the left, playing in a cross, which was deflected into Marcus Rashford which was blocked by Jannik Vestergaard, whose reading of the game was great.

United saw a lot of pressure from the Saints with a few awkward moments for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. In the sixth minute, Kevin Danso broke on the left but Aaron Wan-Bissaka covered well by David De Gea had to rush off his line to make a block to deny Southampton from getting anything in that attack.

Two minutes later, De Gea was tested after Sofiane Boufal and Che Adams played a one-two 25-yards from goal. Boufal then flashed a low drive inches past De Gea’s right-hand post. Boufal then had a shot on goal a minute later after the ball dropped invitingly on the left but his volley was off target. Perhaps maybe a letoff for United.

United then took the lead in the tenth minute of the match, Scott McTominay rolled the ball out fo James on the left with the Wales forward moving the ball towards the penalty area before launching his shot on goal which rocketed into the top right-hand corner putting United 1-0 up. What a start to the season for the 21-year-old.

In the 15th minute, after a bright start from the Saints, United had started to edge ahead in terms of taking control of the game. Just two minutes later, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s pass went astray after Boufal made a good run in between United’s defenders. The home fans then groaned as it could have been an opportunity to level the score.

McTominay created something in the 19th minute of the match, lofting the ball into the box, picking out Wan-Bissaka, whose volley was fired over the crossbar. The flag was up for offside though, so it would not have counted. Danso was booked for hauling back Andreas Pereira in the 20th minute as the midfielder got past the left-back.

Two minutes later, James had another shot on goal, giving the Saints no warning. He unleashed his shot from the edge of the box which forced Angus Gunn to put the powerful strike to safety. United on fire at the minute, treating Southampton how they treated them at the start of the match. United seemed determined to win this match.

United continued to push halfway through the first half of the match, seemingly searching for that second goal, which did not look too far away. In the 28th minute, Rashford broke down the right, whose dangerous cutback was booked behind for a corner by James Ward-Prowse. From the corner, Rashford has an opportunity to double the lead, heading wide. It would have been offside though.

De Gea showed his impeccable goalkeeping in the 30th minute after he claimed Ward-Prowse’s curling cross at the near post. Four minutes later, the Saints started to play a better brand of football, keeping possession giving them something to start with to get back into the game. An equaliser did not seem to be forthcoming though.

Danny Ings has a shot on goal in the 35th minute, aiming to catch De Gea out with a shot from distance but the forward dragged his effort well wide of the target. In the 37th minute, Boufal cut inside the box by McTominay was there to make a vital block of the goal bound effort. Ings then tried to take on Victor Lindelof, the Swede mopped up easily.

Five minutes from the end of the half, Harry Maguire was booked for a tackle on Adams. Despite the booking, Maguire put in a good display of defending against Adams near the byline, forcing the forward to mess up his cross, which ended up behind for a goal kick. The England defender is a calm and composed player at the back, just what United needed.

Two minutes were played at the end of the first half with it ending with United still in the lead. There were no changes at the start of the second half for either team. United won an early free-kick on the right by Ashley Young;’s delivery was poor and Gunn caught the effort in the six-yard box. United would need to do much better to double their lead.

Vestergaard dispossessed Rashford on the halfway line with a good tackle, something which seemed to be delightful for the home fans in the stadium. United that had a chance in the box through Rashford, with the goalkeeper denying him and Rashford sending the ball out of play. However, United won a corner, which came to nothing.

Southampton defended well against United in the early stages of the second half. United had another opportunity with Pereira rushing into the area, however, he did not get connection to the ball with a miskick eventually getting the cross in but the Saints cleared the danger. At the other end of the pitch, Adams had a chance which was not taken well.

Southampton equalised in the 58th minute of the match through Vestergaard with a header, beating De Gea seconds after the goalkeeper made a save to deny the South Coast club from scoring. United need to get themselves back in the game quickly. Southampton made their first change with Shane Long replacing Che Adams.

In the 63rd minute of the match, Boufal got free on the left before standing the ball up to the far post which forced Young to make a desperate clearance behind for a corner. United cleared the danger from the corner. Jesse Lingard was warming up for United in the 65th minute with Solskjaer needing to make a change to get back on top.

Southampton seemed to be inspired by their equaliser, really raising their game in this half. Nemanja Matic and Lingard replaced Pereira and Mata in the 68th minute of the match. Southampton made their second change with Stuart Armstrong replacing Boufal in the 71st minute of the match. United still needed to get stuck into the game.

Danso was sent off in the 73rd minute of the game for a foul on McTominay, his second booking of the game. Southampton were down to ten men. United needed to capitalise from that. As Solskjaer has stated that Mason Greenwood was such a natural finisher, the fact he was not the first player off the bench leaves me with some questions.

United had a chance to get back in front in the 75th minute with James’s stinging strike which was unfortunately saved by Gunn. The Saints made their final change with Maya Yoshida replacing Danny Ings in the 77th minute of the match. Just under 15 minutes were left for United to get something from this game. A victory is vital here.

Wan-Bissaka got some involvement in the game in the 79th minute, flashing an inviting ball across the box by Rashford was on his heels in the middle, unable to reach the ball. Solskjaer made his final change of the match with Greenwood replacing McTominay in the 82nd minute of the match. Could he help get United back in front?

United had an opportunity to go in front in the 83rd minute after a level through pass from Paul Pogba, which sent Rashford through on goal. It was a tight angle and the final shot was kept out of the net by Gunn’s legs. Jesse Lingard was blocked with a chance in the 85th minute from 25-yards. United were throwing everything at this match now.

There was a penalty claim in the 86th minute which was not given after Greenwood went down in the box. United would need to find another way to get the better of this Southampton side. Lingard had another chance on goal, shooting wide of the target in the 87th minute. United were putting a lot of energy into attacking, needing better finishing.

Young had the chance to put United ahead but his curled effort flashed wide of the target. United needed to do much better with their finishing against the Saints. Four minutes were added at the end of the half, giving United some time to find the winner, which they have done late in the game time and time again in the past. Could they do it now?

It was wave after wave of attack from United. Southampton were dealing with the pressure well. They were refusing to buckle under the pressure. Young was booked in the final minute of added time after James burst past Cedric Soares on the left. Southampton had nine players on the pitch with Cedric unable to continue.

It was 1-1 at the end of the game and Solskjaer has two weeks to get back to the drawing board and find a way for United to win their matches. Despite having many chances, the finishing was poor and the team lacks creativity. To give youth a chance would be one way, bringing in Angel Gomes and the likes of Greenwood and Tahith Chong, also James Garner.

United will face Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday 14 September 2019, a traditional 15:00 BST kickoff. By then, after the international break, with the Carabao Cup and the UEFA Europa League also starting for United, the manager will need to have them firing or face another turbulent season with nothing to look forward to other than the end of the season.

Goals: Jannik Vestergaard 58′; Daniel James 10′

Assists: Kevin Danso 58′; Scott McTominay 10′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay (Greenwood 82′), Pogba; Pereira (Lingard 68′), Mata (Matic 68′), James; Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Tuanzebe; Chong

Bookings: Kevin Danso 20′, 73 s/o, Stuart Armstrong 90+6; Harry Maguire 40′, Ashley Young 90+4′

Confirmed Starting XI: Rashford leads the line against Southampton; Pereira, Mata, and James also start; Chong and Greenwood on the bench

Manchester United will be seeking a return to winning ways as they head to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League this afternoon. Last weekend, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faced their first defeat of the season, in this game, the players will be expected to hit back and return to winning ways. Can they do it?

After this match, there will be a two-week break in club football because of the first international break of the season. With a good win, there will be some positivity before the next match on the 14 September when they welcome Leicester City to the Theatre of Dreams. Solskjaer will be looking for a reaction after a poor display against Crystal Palace.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young;

McTominay, Pogba;

Pereira, Mata, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Rojo, Tuanzebe; Lingard, Matic, Chong; Greenwood

Southampton:

Gunn;

Soares, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Danso;

Højbjerg, Romeu;

Boufal, Ward-Prowse;

Ings, Adams

Substitutes:

McCarthy; Yoshida, Stephens, Valery; Armstrong; Long, N’Lundulu

United has played Southampton 125 times with United winning 65 matches, drawing 32 and losing 28 times. Southampton last defeated United on the 23 January 2016 in the Premier League, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford. In the last seven meetings, United are undefeated, winning four times, drawing three times. A win is important for United.

Key Players and Battles: Harry Maguire, Angel Gomes, and Mason Greenwood to be involved in key battles at Southampton

Manchester United will be seeking a return to winning ways as they head to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Last weekend, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had their first defeat of the season, which gave a negative reaction from the clubs fanbase, turning on the manager and his record at the club. This fanbase is becoming reactionary in toxic fashion.

This will be the final match before the first international break of the season and Solskjaer needs to get his team to leave the South Coast with all three points. However, Ralph Hasenhüttl has turned negativity into positivity at the club by winning the last two matches, beating Fulham 1-0 in the Carabao Cup and Brighton and Hove Albion in the league. It could be a tough match for United. Anything less than a win is not good enough.

United has played Southampton 125 times with United winning 65 matches, drawing 32 and losing 28 times. Southampton last defeated United on the 23 January 2016 in the Premier League, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford. In the last seven meetings, United are undefeated, winning four times, drawing three times. A win is important for United.

Key Players: Both United and Southampton have some quality players in their squads but it all depends on how they perform during the match as to whether they will perform, for United anyway!

Manchester United: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James

Southampton: Angus Gunn, Cédric Soares, Maya Yoshida, Jannik Vestergaard, Shane Long, Danny Ings, Ché Adams, Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse

Key Battles: Harry Maguire, Angel Gomes, and Mason Greenwood to battle against Danny Ings, Oriol Romeu, and Ryan Bertrand

Harry Maguire v Danny Ings

The central defender, despite an error against Wolverhampton Wanderers, has helped the club strengthen the defence, which was needed this summer. Three matches into his United career, the 26-year-old has done a lot for the club already. He is a strong tackler, winning 100% of tackles this season. He has made six interceptions, 16 clearance, nine of which have been headed. He has recovered the ball 16 times, also winning 17 duels, losing four of them.

Danny Ings, who has scored twice for Southampton this season, could have problems against the England defender, who will be looking to do his bit at St Mary’s on Saturday. Maguire will only become better at United. He’s a full international now and playing European football will be an experience for him this season, as will playing in a youthful team and being the more experienced head. Ings may need to be at the top of his game to get the better of this Englishman.

Angel Gomes v Oriol Romeu

Angel Gomes will be 19 on Saturday. What better way to celebrate his birthday than to start a Premier League match for United against Southampton? United are crying out for creativity in the midfield this season and Gomes can bring that. Hie small frame will see him use his skill and pace to get the better of his opposition, which he has done many times at U18, U19 and U23 level during his career at the club.

Having made his debut under Jose Mourinho at the end of the 2016/17 season, Gomes has not really played many minutes since and Solskjaer will need to change that, taking risks, which is the way Sir Alex Ferguson did things. Oriol Romeu is a defensive-minded midfielder for Southampton. He may not be tasked to mark Gomes, if he plays a part in the game, however, he may need to if he starts to produce for his club. Given time, he will do just that.

Mason Greenwood v Ryan Bertrand

The 17-year-old forward has been great at all levels in the United youth system. Having not played football ay U23 level this season, it is clear that Mason Greenwood is considered to be good enough for a place in the first team. Sir Matt Busby once said ‘if they are good enough, they are old enough’, which was a sign of the trust in youth that the manager had. Solskjaer seems to have a similar approach, although Greenwood has only played 39 minutes of football this season, in three appearances, it is clear he is in the plans of the manager.

With Anthony Martial out of action and the fact that Alexis Sanchez is now a confirmed Inter Milan player for the 2019/20 season, it is a clear indication for Greenwood to be given the chance from the start of the match like he was against Cardiff City in the final Premier League match last season. It could have been a great match for him if his shots were through on goal. However, he will have learned from that experience and will use it to get the better of his next opponent. Ryan Bertrand, Southampton’s left-back, could have his work cut out with the quick-footed teenager who has the killer instinct of a natural striker.

Opposition Scouting: Southampton licking their lips at Manchester United visit having positivity behind them after back to back wins

Southampton will welcome Manchester United to St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon in the first Premier League fixture of the weekend, an early kickoff for both teams. Southampton did not start their season well with two defeats in their opening matches, losing 3-0 away to Burnley and 2-1 at home to Liverpool. However, negativity turned to positivity recently for the Saints, which will boost them for this match.

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhüttl will be seeking to continue the positivity after victories over Brighton and Hove Albion (2-0) and Fulham (1-0). Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will also be seeking to return to winning ways after last seasons poor performances reared their ugly head once again with some United supporters talking about Solskjaer’s record, suggesting that he should be sacked. It will be a long, tough season on Twitter!

Manager: Ralph Hasenhüttl

The 52-year-old Austrian has a long career in the game as a player, playing in Austria, Belgium, and Germany before retiring and becoming a manager. His final club was Bayern Munich II, ending his career at the end of the 2002/03 season. Hasenhüttl made eight appearances for his country also, scoring three goals. In 2007, he took his first management role at SpVgg Unterhaching in Germany, spending three years at the club before moving to VfR Aalen in 2011, staying for two years.

From 2016 to 2018, Hasenhüttl managed Ingolstadt 04 before spending two years at RB Leipzig. In December 2018, the 52-year-old became the permanent Southampton manager where he succeeded Mark Hughes. Southampton were a relegation contender at the time he took over and on the 27 April 2019, after a 3-3 draw against Bournemouth at St Mary’s, Hasenhüttl managed to secure his clubs Premier League status. They ended the season in 16th place. This season, Southampton will need to do so much better.

Tactics: The South Coast club has played in the 4-2-2-2 formation recently, both time heeding victories for the club. Will Hasenhüttl stick with this formation against United, or change it to 3-4-3 to close down the midfield?

In competitive matches this season, Southampton have played in three different formations; 3-4-2-1, 3-4-3, and 4-2-2-2. In the last two matches, which were both wins for the Saints, they played in the latter 4-2-2-2 formation. That might be something Hasenhüttl sticks with as they get ready to face United at St Mary’s, where he will be looking for three wins in his last three matches. Will keeping the same formation show Southampton’s stagnation and predictability? We will soon find out.

If you think about team sticking with the same formation, like United seem to be doing, teams will know how to break them down as it looks like there is no plan B. Hasenhüttl has plans to combat this, hence the use of three different formations this season. It is possible that he will change the formation to take more of a stock of the midfield, relying on the skills and pace of Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond to take United on the counter-attack, something United find it touch to contain.

Form: Southampton lost their first competitive matches this season but have won their last two matches after a positive pre-season. Beating Manchester United will be something they will aim for.

Southampton: WWLLWW (* denotes friendly)

Fulham 1-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 W, Liverpool 2-1 L, Burnley 3-0 L, FC Köln 2-0 W*, Feyenoord 3-1 W*

Predicted Starting XI: Southampton to change formation to 3-4-3 in order to stagnate United’s midfield and control the game to win their third match in a row?

Match Prediction: Southampton will be largely positive after winning their last two matches, scoring three goals, conceding none. However, United will be coming off the back of a draw and a defeat, seeking to gain some respect once again. It could be tough.

Southampton 1-2 Manchester United

copyright: JW