SAINT MARY’S, Sporting Alert – Wayne Rooney returns to the Manchester United starting lineup, while Anthony Martial also keeps his place for today’s Premier League clash at Southampton.
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Rooney missed last week’s EPL victory for Manchester United over Liverpool at Old Trafford and the Champions League defeat at PSV in midweek because of a hamstring problem, but the England and club captain is fit again and comes back to start.
He comes in to replace Ashley Young from Tuesday night’s game, and is expected to play behind Martial, who started also against PSV and came on and scored in the 3-1 win against Liverpool.
With Luke Shaw out long term with a broken leg, Marcos Rojo comes in as his replacement.
It looks like Louis van Gaal has once again decided to use Rojo as the partner for Chris Smalling at centre-back, rather than moving the Argentine international at left back and keep the partnership of Smalling and Blind going.
Micheal Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin, who will return to face his former club for the first time since his summer move, come into midfield to replace Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ander Herrera, who are both on the bench.
Sadio Mane, who was linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer, starts for Southampton and will look to combine with Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle in the attack as they target the visitors’ “weak link”, Daley Blind, according to the players.
Victor Wanyama, Oriol Romeu and Virgil van Dijk all start as well for Southampton, who have kept clean sheets in the last three games.
Southampton Team: Stekelenburg, Fonte, Yoshida, Van Dijk, Targett, Wanyama, Tadic, Oriol Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Pelle. Subs: Davis, Cedric, Long, Davis, Rodriguez, Martina, Juanmi.
Manchester United Team: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Rojo, Blind, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mata, Memphis, Rooney, Martial. Subs: Romero, McNair, Fellaini, Schweinsteiger, Herrera, Valencia, Young.