While Manchester United have brought their unbeaten streak up to double figures, their recent results have been less than satisfactory for manager Louis van Gaal.
The draw against Tottenham Hotspur a few weeks ago was a disappointment while they certainly did not deserve anything more than a point against Stoke City after an insipid performance on New Year’s Day.
United did manage to get back winning ways by seeing off Yeovil Town in the FA Cup clash on Sunday but once again, their performance was not very convincing.
Now, the Red Devils will look to continue their onslaught for a third place finish when they welcome rivals Southampton to Old Tafford on Sunday and the match looks set to be a difficult one for van Gaal’s men.
Southampton are flying at the moment and if the Red Devils suffer a defeat, it will see them slump below the Saints in the table. Therefore, van Gaal will be demanding his side to put in a strong performance and the match should be an interesting watch.
Here is the Strongest Possible Lineup for Manchester United on the day –
David De Gea had virtually nothing to do during the FA Cup clash against Yeovil Town but one can be sure that the Spaniard will be a lot busier when Southampton pay a visit.
The Saints possess a host of top quality attackers in their ranks and De Gea will have to put in a very good performance if United are to stand a chance of claiming all three points from the clash.
As it has been the theme for Manchester United this season, whenever a player makes a return from injury another one falls prey to the injury curse.
While the Red Devils were boosted by the return of Chris Smalling for the clash against Yeovil Town, they lost both Luke Shaw and Rafael due to injuries.
Shaw is now unlikely to feature for the clash against Southampton alongside the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind but Rafael could be in contention after being cleared to play, albeit by wearing a protective mask.
Marcos Rojo remains a doubt so there is a possibility that Tyler Blackett could feature in the left back position, while the three man central defence will consist of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Smalling.
Van Gaal handed regulars Michael Carrick and Juan Mata a rest during the clash against Yeovil and it is very likely that the duo will return to the starting lineup this weekend at the expense of Ander Herrera and Darren Fletcher.
Angel Di Maria has returned to full fitness recently and he proved that with a fine goal against Yeovil on Sunday. Therefore, the Argentinean star should in all likelihood be handed a place in the starting lineup this weekend.
In order to accommodate Di Maria, one of the strikers could drop down to the bench and Wayne Rooney will probably be pushed further up the pitch in a more advanced role.
Adnan Januzaj, Anderson, Herrera and Fletcher remain options if van Gaal decides to change things around but Marouane Fellaini’s participation is still doubtful due to an injury.
Radamel Falcao started the game against Yeovil but he was ineffective once again and there is a strong possibility that the Colombian star could be dropped to the bench for the clash on Sunday.
Robin van Persie was handed a well deserved rest over the weekend and he should lead the line once again alongside Wayne Rooney.
Via – Lineup Builder