Manchester United vs Southampton: United’s Starting XI?

The international break is finally behind us and the Premier League returns this weekend with the visit of Southampton to Old Trafford. The Saints have been one of the better teams in the opening seven games and will pose a big problem for United if the Manchester club do not play to their potential.

In goal I would expect De Gea to start with Rafael, Smalling, Vidic and Evra starting just in front. Smalling put in an impressive performance for England and has been improving with every game for United this season which makes me this Moyes will elect for him to partner club captain Nemanja Vidic in the centre of defence.

michael-carrick-pointingThe centre of midfield should see Carrick take up his normal position alongside Fellaini. The Belgian seemed to avoid what looked like a prolonged layoff with injury by utilising a soft cast during the International break for Belgium.

The left wing will likely see Januzaj start again after his game saving performance against Sunderland just two weeks ago. Competition for this place will come from the likes of Young and Zaha but with Young looking anything but impressive this season and a January loan move away from Old Trafford being touted for Zaha it looks very much unlikely that either will cause Januzaj to lose his starting place. Danny Welbeck also offers Moyes an option in this position but with a tough workout against Poland for England he may be rested with one eye on the Real Sociedad game midweek.

On the right side of the midfield the options available to Moyes come in the form of Nani and Valencia. Southampton have been a very strong and tough team to beat which may make the sometimes cautious Moyes favour the greater defensive qualities of Valencia. I would like to believe that in an attempt to create more and take the game to the Saints that Moyes will choose Nani, the winger has been improving as of late and a goal during the international break may be just what he needs to start of run.

Two players who have been notably absent from the United team more often than not this season are Chicharito and Kagawa. With the return trips for both players after the break it would be unlikely to see either feature on Saturday.

The front two should be Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Both have been in ever improving form and with a hat trick for Van Persie and a goal in both games for Rooney I can’t see Moyes even considering anyone else starting this game.

De Gea

Rafael Smalling Vidic Evra

Nani Carrick Fellaini Januzaj

Rooney

Van Persie

This game is an important one for the United manager, he will want to ensure the team doesn’t fall too far behind the league leaders. Southampton will be a tough challenge but one that could be a huge confidence booster to get the team off on a run of successes.

Who do you think will be the starting XI against Southampton? Comment in the section below.

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