Tomorrow night, we will see Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United face Claude Puel’s Southampton in the first of 10 Friday night Premier League matches.
Mourinho will be in the dugout for his first competitive home match as Manchester United manager. He will be in a confident mood after a commanding victory at Bournemouth on Sunday.
He will be also pleased as Chris Smalling is set to return from suspension and looks likely to start at centre- back, meaning the partnership of Eric Bailly and Daley Blind will be broken up.
£89.5 Million Paul Pogba is set to make his second Manchester United debut. However, taking into account the last match he played was the Euro’s Final on the 10th July. I would expect him to start on the bench tomorrow night.
Jesse Lingard isn’t set to recover from the foot injury which kept him out of the Bournemouth game. Which means Juan Mata is set to keep his position in the United line-up.
Southampton will be looking to improve after an unconvincing 1-1 draw at home to Watford. Puel’s men lacked a cutting against a well set up Watford team.
Jose Fonte started on the bench on Saturday, however, is likely to return to the Southampton line amid speculation of a transfer to Old Trafford.
Nathan Redmond is set to start up front again alongside Shane Long after he impressed on Saturday with the composed volley to equalise for the Saints. Puel confirmed Ryan Bertrand will miss the game on Friday, as he is still recovering from an injury picked up in pre-season.
Last season the reverse fixture was won 1-0 by Southampton, with Charlie Austin scoring late on in his Southampton debut.
I expect Manchester United to carry on from where they left off at the weekend and to beat Southampton comfortably. I predict a 3-0 victory to Mourinho’s side.
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw; Fellaini, Carrick; Martial, Rooney, Mata; Ibrahimovic
Forster; Targett, Van Dijk, Fonte, Soares;Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Davis; Tadic, Redmond; Long