Manchester United vs Southampton LIVE: Wan-Bissaka and Sancho handed starts by Erik ten Hag as Alcaraz shakes off an knock to feature for relegation threatened Saints… but the match will NOT be shown on TV
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Southampton.
A floral tribute has been left on the seat of Ian Stirling, an Independent Supporter Liaison Officer for Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.
Stirling passed away at the age of 57.
‘This is truly devastating news for all of us at the club who knew and worked with Ian,’ said Richard Arnold, Manchester United chief executive.
‘He was a towering figure within our fan community, loved and respected in equal measure.
‘Ian was a relentless and unflinching advocate for the interests of fans, particularly match-goers, and we highly-valued the plain-speaking advice he provided.
‘We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Lynn, daughter Lucy, and other loved ones.
‘The best tribute we can pay to Ian is to continue strengthening the club’s commitment to fan engagement via the Fans’ Advisory Board and Fans’ Forum, and preserving the lines of communication and advocacy which he opened in his role as Independent Supporter Liaison Officer.’
Allow me to point you in the direction of our story looking at the relegation scrap, assessing each team’s run-in.
The trip to Old Trafford begins a fairly tough set of fixtures for Southampton…
Southampton have made one change from the side that overcame Leicester last week.
Romain Perraud comes into the team to replace Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who is absent.
Carlos Alcaraz had been a doubt with a knee problem he sustained in scoring the winner against Leicester, but he is fit to start.
Lining up at Old Trafford ?
Today's #SaintsFC team for the clash with #MUFC: pic.twitter.com/1hVM5z5bgQ
Two changes for Manchester United.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho come in for Diogo Dalot and Fred.
Presenting today’s United line-up ? #MUFC || #MUNSOU
With team news around 10 minutes away, it will be interesting to see what line-up Erik ten Hag opts for, with United about to play their 44th match of the season.
Could Ten Hag opt to rotate with Europa League and FA Cup commitments coming up. The Dutchman has claimed the team must go game by game, but admits there are concerns over the squad’s energy.
‘There is a continuing process and it’s already in the background,’ Ten Hag said. ‘At the moment the main focus is game to game. The first game is always the most important and that’s Southampton on Sunday.
‘We are not looking over our shoulders. We have to focus on our process and what others are doing is not for us.
‘We have to improve our game and every player has to improve. We have to win and do that game after game.’
Southampton have enjoyed a mini-revival under Ruben Selles, who oversaw their shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge following the sacking of Nathan Jones.
The Spaniard was reward by being named as Saints boss until the end of the season.
Southampton have since lost 1-0 to Leeds, before beating Leicester by the same scoreline.
Wins for Bournemouth and Everton on Saturday will have come as a blow, but Southampton are just three points from safety and six from 12th placed Crystal Palace in a crazy relegation battle.
Erik ten Hag’s side will stay third regardless of the result at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils currently 12 points adrift of rivals Manchester City. Albeit with two games in hand.
United also have two games in hand over fourth placed Tottenham, who closed to within a point after beating Nottingham Forest yesterday.
Victory would re-establish a 10 point gap to Liverpool to strengthen United’s grasp of a Champions League place for next season. Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten 1-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Manchester United are set to return to Premier League action one week on from their humiliation at Anfield.
Erik ten Hag’s side enjoyed a 4-1 win over Real Betis in midweek, with the Dutchman starting the same team from the 7-0 hammering to help get the result of their system.
A victory over Southampton this afternoon would further help to put the defeat in the rear view mirror.
Southampton head to Old Trafford propping up the Premier League table, but have won two of their last three matches to boost their survival hopes.
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