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1. Centre Back Pairing

smalling jones van gaal

Playing Daley Blind as a full back would mean that the centre back pairing of Blind and Smalling would have to be done away with. United have three other centre backs in their first team squad namely Rojo, Jones and Paddy McNair.

Rojo hasn’t played a full competitive match since the Copa America final while Jones has just recovered from a bout of thrombosis and risking youngster McNair in such a high pressure game against the Saints could be disastrous.

Rojo is better equipped to deal with Southampton’s forwards Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic than Jones and even McNair. Rojo played for an hour in the mid-week game in Eindhoven so that match experience should hold him in good stead.

All in all, the United-Southampton game promises to be an exciting one with a lot of star quality on display. United might just edge out a victory due to their better midfield and balance.

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