This could be a huge change for United to win some silverware this season. Even though this trophy isn’t an equivalent prize to the Premier League or the Champions League, this is still a chance for these players to have their names remembered, and more importantly, it will give them a huge boost for the rest of the season, to encourage these players the desire to win more. Mourinho himself as used this competition to get his players hungry for more trophies. Even though the league is out of our sights, the FA cup and the Europa league are there for us to win. For Mourinho to have a memorable first season at the club.
This could rather be a one sided game or a very close game. With United losing Carrick and Mhikitaryian to injury, it makes us more vunerable and gives us less to offer going forward. Carrick gives us reassurance in case Pogba and Herrera get carried away going forward. Mhikitaryian has been one of our best players this season since returning to the side. He makes the side more direct when he is playing, especially at number 10. Without him we seem more passive, we make more passes before trying to go near the final third. We lack someone who will just run at them and put those defenders under pressure. Southampton are also without players, mainly Van Dijk. I have spoken about Van Dijk multiple times so it is clear how much of a loss he is for the Saints. They should be quite vunerable at the back, giving United a chance to create chances and hurt that back four. Southampton usually play quite central so it will give chances for Pogba to spray the ball wide. Out of all the games where I’d like to see Pogba playing as that deepline playmaker we saw against Watford, it would be this one. Pogba needs to stamp his authority on this game and make sure players like Clasie and Davies do not get a sniff of the ball. Southampton’s biggest threat of the game would definitely be Gabiadini. The Italian just signed for Southampton and is already making a big impression. From what I saw they try and cross the ball into him because of his height, so Smalling and Bailly are definitely our first choice centre backs here. Valencia and Blind need to make sure those balls do not get near the box. This should be a good game because of the occasion. Southampton are desperate for a trophy for a long time and this could be their chance, and United need this for the boost it will give us. But because of how much we’ve been improving, I can’t see anything except a United win here
Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Southampton