A trip down to Southampton may not be the most enticing journey at this moment in time for United fans but at least before they’re forced to endure another 90 minutes of dross they’ll be well and truly leathered.
Watching the Reds at the moment is about as enjoyable as sitting through a Big Bang Theory box set – don’t @ me, it’s garbage – and despite the fact Mark Hughes’s team are currently helping to prop up the table, it’s hard to feel overly confident about any United game.
Marouane Fellaini’s last-minute winner against those European giants Young Boys of Bern was the biggest example of papering over the cracks since Bruce and Kris Jenner renewed their vows. United isn’t a happy camp, with Jose Mourinho looking increasingly like a man who’s ready to start running through the Trafford Centre with an Uzi. The rest of his squad resemble a group of Community Service attendees desperately waiting for their probation to end.
Southampton’s home record is among the worst in the country, in six attempts so far this season the Saints have yet to record a win, scoring a paltry four goals in the process, it seems the club’s policy of having a summer sale and regrouping is finally coming unstuck.
Your average summer at St Mary’s sees the club sell one of their prized assets – usually to Liverpool – bring in one or two lesser known foreign imports and upset the odds by surviving comfortably. Last season should have been a wake-up call as after selling their best defender – to Liverpool, obviously – Southampton struggled and only just survived mainly thanks to a win over Swansea City in their penultimate league game.
This summer Mark Hughes failed to bring in any notable signings with Dortmund’s Danish international Jannik Vestergaard and Liverpool’s sixth choice striker Danny Ings among the few players who arrived on the South Coast.
When you consider Charlie Austin was the Saints top scorer with seven goals last season and new signing Danny Ings has managed the same amount in three years, it’s no wonder Hughes’s side are struggling for goals, wins and points. Even United can beat this team, right?
United simply have no excuses for leaving St Mary’s with anything less than all three points and the main dilemma facing Jose Mourinho is who replaces the injured Victor Lindelof and who makes up the Reds’ attacking trio.
Jose says Dalot will get some form of chance this weekend – whether it’s a start remains to be seen – while with Sanchez out injured it’s likely Romelu Lukaku will lead the line, a move that’s going to be about as popular as Mark Hughes is among United fans.
United, Lukaku and Mourinho need not just a win, but a convincing performance after a league campaign that’s the Reds’ worst start in over 127 years, or something like that.
It’s been a difficult time for the manager, with every move scrutinised, even the innocuous ones, but a win away from home could help end some of the drama and put the focus back on what United do on the pitch, wouldn’t that be a refreshing change.
Here’s how the Reds could line up tomorrow: