Out-of-form Southampton travel to Old Trafford for their final game of 2017 with Manchester United keen to end the year on a high.
It has been a disappointing Christmas for us so far with back-to-back 2-2 draws against Leicester City and Burnley, but Southampton themselves were held 1-1 at home by Huddersfield Town on the 23rd and then thrashed 5-2 at Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day.
The Saints have in fact failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their past 10 Premier League matches, and are winless during this run, picking up only four points.
Here is the team I think Mauricio Pochettino will send out against us:
Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster
The England goalkeeper is not having a very good season by his standards having been at fault for some of the 30 goals Southampton have conceded through 20 games.
Defence: Jeremy Pied, Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt, Matthew Targett
Southampton have injuries in both full-back positions with Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares out. This should reduce their threat from out wide when going forward. In their places, Jeremy Pied only recently returned from a long injury layoff himself to take up the right-back spot whilst youngster Matthew Targett is gaining more experience on the left. Virgil van Dijk hasn’t been in the starting lineup in recent weeks and has since agreed a £75 million move to Liverpool that will go through in a couple of days, so Maya Yoshida and Wesley Hoedt will continue their partnership at the back.
Midfield: Oriel Romeu, Mario Lemina; Sofiane Boufal, Steven Davis, Dusan Tadic
Oriel Romeu is the more careful of the two holding midfielders but does like to venture forward occasionally. Mario Lemina does love to bring the ball forward and take players on in a similar way to Paul Pogba, just not as good. Out on the right wing Sofiane Boufal is good at taking on full-backs but I’m still not convinced by him in the final third. Dusan Tadic is both a goalscorer and playmaker out wide whilst Steven Davis can make some threatening runs from the number 10 role.
Striker: Manolo Gabbiadini
The Italian will be back in the starting lineup for Southampton tomorrow as Charlie Austin serves a suspension. Manolo Gabbiadini caused up a few problems in the League Cup final against us nearly a year ago so David de Gea will be hoping our defence picks him up this time.
Here’s how Southampton line up on paper: