Manchester United went with a 3-5-2 against Southampton and, just like at Arsenal, they played badly and won. It’s virtually impossible to say whether they suit the formation with results like this.
Call it luck, or a great formation that is just starting to pay dividends, we think Manchester United will end up with 4 in defence long term.
Chris Smalling picked up another muscle strain which should see him miss the Liverpool match. But Jonny Evans has made a timely return and it’s difficult to imagine him not lining up in the defence on Sunday (Kick Off 1330 local time).
Luke Shaw and Rafael da Silva could make the squad but Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young will continue in the full back positions if the youngsters aren’t fully fit. We’d like to see Rafa back and Antonio pushed further of
Angel di Maria should give Manchester United a big fitness boost as he returns from hamstring problem. Michael Carrick will start and Marouane Fellaini (awful against The Saints) seems to be getting picked every week now.
With RvP’s brace almost guaranteeing him a start and Rooney in behind, there are only two other positions to fill. Mata has to drop out because this sort of game demands to defensive midfielders to deal with the pacey threats of the likes of Sterling and Coutinho. And he was once again anonymous against Southampton. We are giving Adnan another chance to impress in a wider position.