Manchester United host Southampton in their first home Premier League game of the 2016/17 season, with Paul Pogba set to take centre stage.
The Red Devils got off to a winning start last weekend with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth, while their upcoming opponents were held to a 1-1 draw by Watford.
In turn, Claude Puel will be keen to make a statement by securing his first win in English football in Manchester, but he’ll come up against a strong United side.
Pogba secured a £89m move back to Old Trafford this summer, as reported by Sky Sports, and is in line to make his debut against the Saints after missing the Bournemouth game due to suspension.
He joins Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly in hoping that they make their first appearance as a United player at Old Trafford in the first ‘Friday Night Football’ of the season, with Jose Mourinho also looking forward to his home bow.
Elsewhere, Chris Smalling returns from suspension, while Jesse Lingard has recovered from a foot injury to take his place in the squad.
As for the visitors, captain Jose Fonte is expected to return to the line-up although Ryan Bertrand remains sidelined through injury.
Southampton have claimed 1-0 wins on their last two trips to United, and will be hopeful of causing another upset here and bursting the early bubble at Old Trafford.
Having lost their manager and key players this summer, it’s another season in which they’ll have to prove their detractors wrong, and Puel will be under pressure quickly if he doesn’t pick up positive results.
Mourinho will also be feeling that same pressure to get results after starting with all three points last weekend, but it may well take time to see the best of his side as they continue to settle.
Bailly looked impressive against Bournemouth, Ibrahimovic is off the mark already while Mkhitaryan will hope to secure more playing time in the weeks ahead.
Add Pogba to the mix and United will feel as though they have the players to mount a serious Premier League title challenge, but time will tell as to whether or not they’re the real deal.
Manchester United 2-0 Southampton. The Saints will need to be much better than they were last weekend, while United will hope to improve too. However, with these two sides still finding their way to reach their full potential, it comes down to quality and the hosts have it in abundance to make the difference and get the victory.