English Premiership

Preview: Man United v Southampton

2016-08-19 13:15
David de Gea (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Record Manchester United signing Paul Pogba is in line to make his competitive debut for the club when they welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Friday night.

The Red Devils midfielder was forced to miss their 3-1 opening day win over Bournemouth due to a suspension that carried over from his time at Juventus and he will be keen to emulate fellow newcomer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored on his league debut against the Cherries.

After a disappointing campaign last term, in which they missed out on a place in this season's Champions League by finishing fifth, the early signs under new manager Jose Mourinho have been good.

The win over Bournemouth was preceded by their 2-1 victory against Leicester City in the Community Shield to give Mourinho a trophy in his first competitive game in charge of the club.

Apart from Pogba, Southampton will have to keep a close eye on Ibrahimovic. Despite his relatively advanced age for a striker at 34, he has already shown his goalscoring prowess has not suffered even a little bit by scoring in three of the four games he has played since his arrival at Old Trafford.

The Saints will be looking for a better performance than the one that saw them draw 1-1 with Watford last time out. The south coast side dominated possession and the number of chances created but were somehow unable to come away from the match with three points.

When looking at the fixture list at the start of the season, the trip to Old Trafford is unlikely to be a match they would've expected to get anything from but maybe they will be able to play the role the Hornets did against them last weekend and scrape an unlikely point.

In team news, Chris Smalling returns from suspension for United, but he is unlikely to displace the impressive Daley Blind in the centre of defence, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still waiting to make his first start since joining from Borussia Dortmund in pre-season.

Southampton have no major injury concerns and are likely to welcome Jose Fonte back into the heart of their defence, despite speculation he could be packing his bags before the end of the transfer window.

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Saturday, 21 October 2017
Chelsea v Watford, Stamford Bridge 13:30
Stoke City v AFC Bournemouth, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Burnley, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 16:00
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