Southampton v Man Utd preview
Adkins hoping his side can claim first point of the season
Last Updated: August 31, 2012 5:08pm
Nemanja Vidic: Manchester United captain has called for focus
Manchester United will be looking to produce a convincing performance at Southampton after a stuttering start to the season.
The Red Devils were beaten by Everton in their opening game before edging past Fulham at Old Trafford last weekend and captain Nemanja Vidic has called for the team to be more focused.
That may be necessary in the absence of Wayne Rooney through injury, but it also presents an opportunity for Robin van Persie to cement his status as the club's No.1 forward.
While United were left devastated after being edged out by Manchester City last season, Southampton earned plaudits for their narrow 3-2 defeat bythe champions on the opening day.
After the praise for that spirited performance came the reality check as Saints were beaten 2-0 at home by Wigan last weekend.
With trips to Arsenal and Everton lined up later in the month, the pressure is in danger of mounting early on for the newly-promoted side.
But it's worth remembering that when these teams met in the FA Cup just last year they were separated by two divisions.
And yet, the Saints team on Sunday is likely to feature more players who played that day than United's will.
Southampton's two new signings are unlikely to feature on Sunday.
Japan defender Maya Yoshida, who captained his country at the Olympics, is back in his native country to play in the upcoming internationals.
Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka is also unlikely to feature after signing during the week, while former Chelsea trainee Jack Cork (ankle) remains a doubt.
Other than that Adkins has a strong squad to chose from.
Jonny Evans is set to return for Manchester United's trip to Southampton on Sunday.
Evans has recovered from a summer ankle operation and will partner Nemanja Vidic in central defence.
Phil Jones (back) and Rio Ferdinand (groin) are back in training but unlikely to be involved, while Wayne Rooney (thigh), Ashley Young (knee) and Chris Smalling (foot) are all out.
- Manchester United have allowed their opponents more shots on target against them than any other team in the Premier League this season (13).
- Robin van Persie was sent off in his only appearance in the Premier League at St Mary's.
- Saints were the top scorers on home soil in the Championship last season, netting 49 goals.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 25 Gazzaniga
- 2 Clyne
- 3 Yoshida
- 5 Lovren
- 23 Shaw
- 12 Wanyama
- 16 Ward-Prowse
- 8 Davis S
- 20 Lallana
- 9 Rodriguez
- 7 Lambert
Team taken from Southampton vs Aston Villa (Barclays Premier League) on Wednesday 4th December 2013
- 1 De Gea
- 2 Rafael
- 12 Smalling
- 15 Vidic
- 3 Evra
- 31 Fellaini
- 11 Giggs
- 25 Valencia
- 26 Kagawa
- 19 Welbeck
- 10 Rooney
Team taken from Manchester United vs Everton (Barclays Premier League) on Wednesday 4th December 2013
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Barclays Premier League
|13||West Bromwich Albion||14||15|
|17||West Ham United||14||13|
Southampton v Man U
Morgan Schneiderlin is remaining positive but cannot hide his disappointment after Southampton's late heartbreak against Manchester United.
Nemanja Vidic has admitted that Manchester United were unhappy to again concede two goals in Sunday's game against Southampton.
Sir Alex Ferguson dropped David de Gea against Southampton following the Man Utd goalkeeper's error against Fulham in the previous game.