Manchester United visit Southampton on Sunday to build on a stunning first game against Leeds.
After a thrilling 5-1 win at the start of the season, expectations are high.
A word of warning that this game will be played away and lost eight traveling teams last weekend, with fans in the stadiums having a positive early influence on the home teams.
Southampton have often given United tough games at St. Mary’s and last season was no different.
United needed a last-minute Edinson Cavani goal to seal a 3-2 comeback win after a 2-0 loss.
The return leg at Old Trafford ended 9-0 for United, which could have a huge impact on this game if Solskjaer’s side can score an early goal and damage the home team’s confidence.
United were outstanding against Leeds and can set a milestone here with an away win that would also set the English football all-time record for unbeaten away games.
(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)
How will Solskjaer United line up?
While United have a huge squad and bench of fresh players who didn’t play last weekend, minimal changes await here.
It is even possible that Solskjaer will stick with the same team that started against Leeds, he has the form to keep a winning team intact.
Earlier this week we asked four questions that Solskjaer would ask ahead of the game, so let’s go over what we predict.
Will Raphael Varane start? Varane may be available but don’t expect him to start this game.
Varane didn’t play in the mid-week warm-up game, and Eric Bailly did, which might suggest he’s ahead of the game in terms of fitness.
A full week of training will of course benefit Varane. Even so, the best he can probably expect here to start a seat on the bench with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Are there any changes in midfield? Fred and Scott McTominay, who faced Leeds, were a bit of a surprise considering that both players had minimal pre-season action.
Fortunately, the pair were stellar and there are good reasons to stick them together to start this game.
Both Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic could be used but we sense that Solskjaer will be reluctant to change the core of a team that dominated the opening game.
Will Jadon Sancho start? Paul Pogba will likely be on the left again, meaning Solskjaer will have to choose between Dan James and Jadon Sancho on the right.
This decision all depends on fitness and how sharp Sancho looked in training.
He played in the training game mid-week and we’ll be brave and say yes, Sancho will be selected for this game before James and start his first competitive game at Manchester United.
(Photo by Mike Hewitt / Getty Images)
Will Edinson Cavani be ready? After a long summer break, Cavani has only just returned to training.
We wouldn’t expect Cavani to start and in any case, Mason Greenwood deserved his place while Anthony Martial also scored the weekday friendly.
Cavani will sit on the bench at best and could deal a psychological blow to Southampton if he just saw him there.
Also considered … Expect Jesse Lingard to be back on the bench and potentially coming on. United want the midfielder to feel valued for staying and this is an opportunity to show that.
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