Southampton have endured a steady start to the season as they sit in the ninth position after five matches with eight points. Whether or not their dream of finishing higher than where they are now turn into a reality is yet to be seen. However, the Saints face their toughest challenge so far when they face a delightful Manchester United side this weekend. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side will hope to at least salvage a point against Mourinho’s men who seem to be brushing aside any challenge put in front of them. They won all three points against Crystal Palace last week and will look forward to extending their winning run.
Here is our predicted playing eleven for Southampton:
GK: Fraser Forster
It was not until last season that Forster completely cemented his spot as his team’s first choice goalkeeper. Forster is a confirmed starter in any match for Southampton and faces a stiff challenge from Lukaku and company.
RB: Cedric Soares
Cedric Soares has played every minute of Southampton’s campaign in the Premier League this season. He is not someone who likes to make marauding runs often and prefers to sit back and contribute defensively. That would be wiser against a quick and agile Marcus Rashford on the left wing for United.
CB: Virgil Van Dijk
The summer-long transfer saga of Van Dijk’s departure ended when the Saints managed to keep hold of him. He came on as a late substitute in the last match but would be preferred to start against United. It remains to be seen whether Van Dijk is able to play with the same intensity and passion after being rejected a move away multiple times this summer.
CB: Wesley Hoedt
Hoedt might be preferred to start over Maya Yoshida simply because of his tactical awareness. He is an intelligent player and would be an ideal partner for Van Dijk at the heart of the defence.
LB: Ryan Bertrand
Bertrand is the preferred left-back in Southampton’s squad and has appeared in all five matches of the league so far. He likes to keep things simple and follows the manager’s instructions carefully. His concentration is amazing and he thwarts most attempts through his end of the flank.
CDM: Mario Lemina
The summer signing from Juventus has been slowly gaining his form. He remains key in the midfield for the Saints’ and they would hope that Lemina could take benefit of Pogba’s absence to leave a mark on the match.
CDM: Oriol Romeu
Romeu builds the defensive wall for Southampton in the centre of the pitch. His tackling, interception skills as well as his man-marking sets him apart. He is great in the air and would hope to neutralize Marouane Fellaini’s aerial skills in the midfield.
LW: Nathan Redmond
Redmond is crucial for Southampton on the left flank as he always looks to create chances by cutting in from the wings. He dribbles with the ball really well and plays short passes in the box to create more chances.
CAM: Steven Davis
The captain has played in various positions in the midfield throughout this season. He will most likely retain the central position in the attacking trio for Southampton. Davis is an experienced campaigner and his calm head will be necessary to take Southampton through this difficult match.
RW: Dusan Tadic
Tadic remains an instrumental part in the attack for Southampton. His ability to make key passes creates a lot of goalscoring chances. He likes to cross the ball and threads numerous through balls; something which can trouble United’s defence.
ST: Manolo Gabbiadini
It will be a close call between Gabbiadini and Shane Long and the former might just make the cut for the position of the lone striker.