Predicted XI

Cavani out, Martial in – How Manchester United could line-up against Southampton

The Uruguayan was wayward against Arsenal and could be dropped to the bench as a result.

 
8:37am on Monday 1st February 2021
By
Nicholas Hughes

Manchester United will be looking to re-stake their title claims when they welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils have tasted defeat against Sheffield United and succumbed to a frustrating goalless draw against Arsenal in their last two fixtures, leaving them three points behind neighbours City – who also have a game in hand – at the top of the table.

Edinson Cavani was particularly wasteful in the draw at the Emirates, spurning a chance from point blank range, and the Uruguayan will likely drop to the bench again to accommodate Anthony Martial.

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The Frenchman has gone eight appearances in all competitions without a goal since netting against Aston Villa on the opening day, registering just two goals and three assists all season so far.

United have struggled for consistency from whoever is in the centre forward position, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford combining for almost half the side’s goals just between themselves.

The back four is set to remain the same but for the possible inclusion of Eric Bailly in Victor Lindelof’s stead, with Luke Shaw continuing to be a key contributor from left-back.

Paul Pogba should continue his strong form in a midfield that will likely be without Scott McTominay, necessitating Nemanja Matic’s recall at its base alongside Paul Pogba.

That would allow Mason Greenwood to come in on the right hand side to complete the front four alongside Fernandes, Martial and Rashford, with the youngster looking to add to his solitary Premier League goal.

Solskjaer will face a Saints outfit still missing influential defender Jannik Vestergaard, and an attacking lineup will look to expose the Dane’s absence for the visitors.

United came from two goals down to beat Southampton 3-2 last time out and will be hoping to not have to do the same again in a game they ought to win to remain in the title conversation.

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