Manchester United’s trip to Southampton will serve as an important test of just how genuine their brilliant start in front of goal this season really is.
Jose Mourinho’s men have been nothing short of menacing so far: they scored their 15th home goal of the season last Wednesday against Burton Albion, whereas they had to wait until November 24th last year to reach that feat. But Southampton are rarely easy opponents and should have claimed three points against a lacklustre United when the two sides let at Saint Mary’s back in May.
Will this be business as usual for the Portuguese’s side, or will we continue to see the subtly embedded defensive frailties that hallmarked their trip to Stoke?
Crucial to avoiding the latter will be the devastating duo of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku: the Englishman took his tally to five goals for this season against Burton with a superb early brace. Confidence is coursing through his veins and Mourinho will want him to test Cedric Soares with his raw speed on the left-hand side. And Lukaku, with seven goals to his name already this season, ought to be one of the first names on the team-sheet after dazzling against Everton and receiving a rest during the week. There is an unquestionable air of inevitability about the way he is playing: you just know that one chance will come his way.
And with that in mind, here is a potential XI for United’s clash with Southampton on Saturday afternoon.