It’s another great weekend for Barclays Premier League, as a Manchester United fan nothing brings more joy to my ears than a chance to watch my beloved club play once again. Manchester United fans have more reasons to be joyful as the gaffer confirmed we have only one injured player which is Ashley Young ( from the previous match). In a Season where we have had close to 42 injuries with 16 players all injured at once this is great news indeed for all fans. After drawing our last two matches to Tottenham and Stoke City, United would be looking to bounce back with a much needed win against Southampton. Given United’s good home record the pundits would be predicting a win for the Red Devils however football is not won on paper.
Moreover Southampton will be coming into this game with great momentum after drawing with Chelsea and beating Arsenal. The previous meeting between these two sides saw United narrowly steal a win over Southampton courtesy of two goals from Robin Van Persie. This meeting could be regarded as the battle for 3rd position as only one point separates both Southampton and Manchester United. Although the injury situation is abating, Rafael is still ruled out. He is kept in the cooler in a bid not to aggravate his injury while Ashley Young is ruled out for 4-6 weeks. With a great and full squad of attacking players to choose from, it is very unlikely Louis Van Gaal will field his usual 3-5-2 and he could opt for 4-4-2 diamond.
A must win match, United need to create as many chances as possible and actually bury the created chances. Using a 3-5-2 formation which favours a defensive player will limit our attacking options hence I believe a 4-4-2 diamond will be played. Our starting line-up will see David De Gea in post as Victor Valdes will be expected to be on the bench while our defence will see the likes of Valencia at right-back; Rojo and Jones are Van Gaal favoured pairing at centre-back when fit so they would likely fill the centre-back roles while Luke Shaw would replace Ashley Young at left-back.
At the back-end of the diamond formation will be Michael Carrick covering the defence while Di-maria will play on the left side of the diamond. Having had an impressive run of form playing deep in midfield, Captain Wayne Rooney will be played on the right side of the midfield with Juan Mata playing on top of the diamond. Finally our two strikers upfront will definitely be the usual pairing of Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao. If Van Gaal opts for a 3-5-2 formation, David De Gea will be in goal while the three defenders will be Rojo on the left hand side, Jones in the centre and Chris Smalling at the right hand side.
The full-backs will be both Valencia on the right and Shaw on the left respectively then the duo of Carrick and Di-Maria are expected to be lined in the middle of the park with Di-Maria occasionally drifting out wide; as expected Captain Wayne Rooney will definitely be favoured to fill the position behind Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao. Coach Louis Van Gaal stated his use of the 3-5-2 formation was because of his shortage of defenders but with a host of fit defenders to choose from he is likely to field a 4-4-2 diamond formation. Hopefully at the end of the day we shall come out with the 3 vital points.