Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw will be unavailable when Manchester United go head-to-head with Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday.
Manchester United will be hoping to return to winning ways, when they take on Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Saturday’s lunch-time kick-off. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer though, is grappling with a myriad of injury problems ahead of the trip to the south coast this weekend.
The latest players to be sidelined with fitness concerns are Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, who are both struggling with their respective thigh injuries. And, the Manchester United boss was categorically quizzed on the duo during his pre-match press conference.
“It’s time for our boys to feel that responsibility,” says the boss. “That’s something we are looking forward to at this club.
“With what we’ve done in pre-season, we are mentally and physically ready for that challenge. That’s the next step.” #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 30, 2019
“They’re doing okay, but they won’t be involved in this game. They’ll need the international break. Hopefully Anthony is ready for the Leicester game and Luke maybe another week or two after that. They’ve got slight injuries that they picked up in the game against Palace, and in one respect, it’s a positive time to get it, because it’s the international break for them, and they won’t miss many games.”
Fortunately for Manchester United, they only need to negotiate the challenge of Southampton before at least Martial is back in the fold. But, as far as the game this weekend is concerned, the injury crisis in defence has only become more serious, with Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah also sidelined, apart from Shaw.
It is the absence of Shaw that is the most concerning and Manchester United captain Ashley Young should fill the void of the Englishman against Southampton. The rest of the back four picks itself, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka being the right-back, while Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will form the central defensive partnership once again. David de Gea will take his place in goal.
Up ahead in midfield, there is no looking past Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba for now, with the reportedly disgruntled Nemanja Matic missing out once again. The key change in the rest of the side will be concerning Martial’s replacement.
While the absence of the Frenchman means Marcus Rashford will lead the line and Daniel James is expected to start on the left side of the Manchester United attack, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira are vying for the vacant spot in the side.
Solskjaer has put his faith in the youth, but for now, Greenwood could continue being an option on the bench, especially with Jesse Lingard likely to be given one more chance to prove himself. As a result, the final spot in the side is likely to be taken by Pereira, whose dead ball abilities could come in handy for Manchester United against Southampton.
Predicted Manchester United XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Pogba; Pereira, Lingard, James; Rashford