Manchester United await for Southampton in the Premier League, with the Saints hoping to build upon their recent good form and stave off the threat of relegation.

Their recent form under manager Ruben Selles – the former coach stepping up to replace Nathan Jones, who was sacked after a wretched spell at the helm – has been far more promising, with two victories clinched from the past three league matches.

An away triumph over Chelsea preceded a battling defeat to relegation rivals Leeds United, before a pivotal win against Leicester City, themselves just two points above the bottom three, closed the gulf to touching distance; Saints are now just one point behind the Whites in 17th.

The upswing in form has come at the perfect time considering the magnitude of the task in travelling to Old Trafford and stopping Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils, who responded emphatically after losing 7-0 to Liverpool by defeating Real Betis 4-1 in the Europa League.

What will Southampton’s starting XI be vs Manchester United?

With this in mind, here is how Football FanCast is predicting Saints boss Selles to field his starting eleven when the club take on Man United at the Theatre of Dreams this afternoon, with just one change expected after three points were clinched last weekend.

  • (4-3-3) – (GK) Bazunu; (RB) Maitland-Niles, (CB) Bednarek, (CB) Bella-Kotchap, (LB) Walker-Peters; (CM) Lavia, (CM) Ward-Prowse (AM) Elyounoussi; (RW) Walcott, (LW) Sulemana; (CF) Adams. 

Selles will likely stick with the same backline that secured victory last time out, especially given Southampton have now kept clean sheets in two of the past three league outings, conceding only once against Leeds.

In midfield, Romeo Lavia and captain James Ward-Prowse could continue their partnership as the two behind the attacking midfield trident.

Selles will demand cohesion and attentiveness from his outfit, and might have to do so without last week’s match-winner Carlos Alcaraz, who is touch-and-go for a starting berth against United after injuring himself in the celebration last Saturday, with The Athletic’s Jacob Tanswell stating that scans were ‘positive’.

The £12m winter signing is a doubt due to his fitness and the “one-dimensional” – as remarked by analyst Ben Wells – Mohamed Elyounoussi could start by replacing the starlet at St. Mary’s.

Up front, Che Adams will retain his talismanic position in the place of Paul Onuachu, while pacy wingers Theo Walcott and Kamaldeen Sulemana will hope to make an impact from the flanks.


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