Southampton are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 defeat in their opening Premier League game of the season last weekend, but know they will be up against it because an in-form Manchester United are making the trip to the south coast.
Ralph Hasenhuttl and his team will need to find a way to shut down the attacking threats in a vastly improved United and take any chances that come their way.
Here’s a look at the Saints XI the manager could pick…
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Alex McCarthy (GK): Regained his place for the beginning of this season after being bench for a number of games in the closing stages of 2020/21.
Kyle Walker-Peters (RB): Could be favoured over the more attack-minded Tino Livramento, who made his Saints debut against Everton last week.
Jack Stephens (CB): Either of Southampton’s centre-backs could be under pressure for their place from Jan Bednarek after disappointing performances last time out.
Mohammed Salisu (CB): More than half of his league starts last season were at left-back and he is already benefitting from Jannik Vestergaard’s departure.
Romain Perraud (LB): The Frenchman made his debut last week and is attempting to fill the shoes of Ryan Bertrand following his departure at the start of the summer.
Stuart Armstrong (CM): Could replace Theo Walcott, who was poor against his former club last week, to offer more in the way of midfield solidity and protection.
Oriel Romeu (CM): Will likely be tasked with limiting the impact of Bruno Fernandes, who lost his markers time and again in United’s win over Leeds.
James Ward-Prowse (CM): Overcame a pre-season injury to start against Everton last weekend and should be fitter and sharper for having another week of training under his belt.
Moussa Djenepo (AM): Will likely mostly operate from the left but will be tasked with providing some creative links between midfield and attack.
Che Adams (ST): Pressed from the front against Everton, which created his team’s opening goal when he was able to nick the ball off Michael Keane and feed Adam Armstrong.
Adam Armstrong (ST): Despite the disappointing result overall, the £15m signing will have taken confidence from that debut goal last week and will hope more chances come his way.