Short of a Manchester City disaster at home everything went pretty much as well as it could have done for Manchester United at the weekend. Liverpool couldn’t get past Sunderland at Anfield. Arsenal surrendered at Stoke and Newcastle beat Chelsea again.
The big question now is can Manchester United take advantage? Can they win this tough away encounter and really start to make a move on the leading pack? Or will they have to settle for a share of the points and a continued battle for fourth? They certainly can’t afford to drop more points at this juncture if they want to apply any pressure at all to the top two.
But a victory against Southampton and Manchester United will be full of confidence as they ‘welcome’ Liverpool at the weekend.
Angel di Maria is a big miss for the clash with The Saints. So many of his key contributions are the important breakthrough ones that dictate matches. And the first goal will be crucial at St.Mary’s.
But United are on form and have enough to get past a team which has been exposed by Manchester City and Arsenal over the last week.
We believe that RvP should get a rest. He is coming back into form but Manchester United could really use the dynamism of Radamel Falcao and the blistering pace of James Wilson on the counter in this fixture.
It would be great to see them both start up top with Rooney in the hole against The Saints. It’s a cavalier approach but the fact remains that United have quality in numbers in the attacking areas so they should use their best players.
Valencia and Young should provide the width from deep positions while Fellaini and Carrick marshall the midfield.