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All eyes were on the impending mammoth battle between Man United’s Harry Maguire and Burnley’s new talisman Wout Weghorst at Turf Moor, but it was the ex-Wolfsburg striker who towered over his opposite number physically and metaphorically in a well-deserved point for the Clarets.
Paul Pogba smashed home the opening goal after Raphael Varane thought he had broken the deadlock only to see VAR overturn his effort, and Burnley responded straight away in the second period through Jay Rodriguez after Weghorst beat Maguire all ends up.
The long line of underwhelming results for Man United continues, with Ralf Rangnick unable to inspire an immediate upturn in fortunes following their miserable FA Cup exit, and the Red Devils have now dropped to fifth in the table after West Ham United’s win over Watford.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are both breathing down the Red Devils’ necks as the race for Champions League football hots up, and while the draw with Burnley did extend Man United’s unbeaten streak in the Premier League to four matches, it was certainly two points dropped rather than one gained.
However, Rangnick’s side can boast a positive record of four wins from their last five in the Premier League at Old Trafford ahead of this contest, but Southampton are no strangers to taking points off Big Six sides on their own turf, as evidenced in midweek.
Man United are still sweating over the fitness of Eric Bailly ahead of Saturday’s game, with the Ivory Coast international returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty with a swollen ankle.
It remains to be seen if Fred and Alex Telles will be able to recover from COVID-19 infection in time to play a part here, but the former surely has no chance of forcing Pogba out of the team either way.
Rangnick is certainly expected to recall Cristiano Ronaldo to the first XI after taking the bold decision to bench the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in midweek, and a man 18 years his junior in Anthony Elanga could also be reintroduced to a fresh attack.
As for Southampton, Lyanco is fighting to return to action before the end of the season after suffering a serious hamstring injury, and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy remains sidelined with a similar issue.
Moussa Djenepo returned to the substitutes bench after his Africa Cup of Nations exploits, but Nathan Redmond is dealing with an ankle problem and fellow attacker Nathan Tella is unlikely to return from a groin injury just yet.
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Hasenhuttl will conduct fitness checks on his players after Wednesday’s exertions, but the visiting boss will surely make no changes to his first XI if his midweek heroes are ready to go again.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, McTominay; Sancho, Fernandes, Elanga; Ronaldo
Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud; S. Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Elyounoussi; Adams, Broja