Southampton will have a great chance to get their hands on a piece of silverware on Sunday as they go head to head against Manchester United in the EFL Cup final at the Wembley Stadium.
The Saints, who have never won the EFL Cup, will go into the game well-rested having not played a single game since their 4-0 thumping of Sunderland on the eleventh of February, whereas United will have played three games in the same period before they take the field at Wembley on Sunday. Southampton had come closest to winning the league cup back in 1979 when they finished runners-up to Nottingham Forest and Claude Puel’s team will look to make history against Jose Mourinho’s United who are currently enjoying a good run of form.
Puel will have to cope with the absence of his best defender and Saints’ best player over the past year and a half, Virgil van Dijk, for this crunch game due to an injury that has ruled the Dutchman out for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, they will be in a positive frame of mind considering their impressive display against Sunderland and the way January arrival Manolo Gabbiadini has announced himself in England.
Considering all these factors, we take a look at the strongest line-up that Southampton could field on Sunday against the Red Devils, in a bid to get their hands on the trophy.
Southampton Predicted line-up to face Manchester United:
Fraser Forster (GK)
The Englishman is the undisputed first-choice for the Saints and will be the man between the sticks at the Wembley stadium on Sunday, despite his shaky displays this term.
Cedric Soares (RB)
Cedric has had a decent season at right-back for Southampton so far, but he will have his task cut out against the on-fire Anthony Martial on Sunday.
Jack Stephens (CB)
The 23-year old has been the preferred centre-back option for Claude Puel after Jose Fonte’s departure and Virgil van Dijk’s injury. We expect him to feature at the heart of the defence against United.
Maya Yoshida (CB)
The experienced defender is the obvious choice to partner Stephens in the backline for Sunday’s mega clash, ahead of Florin Gardos.
Ryan Bertrand (LB)
The former Chelsea man has been one of the best left-backs in the country in recent times and has been one of Southampton’s most consistent performers. He will surely start ahead of Matt Targett.
Oriol Romeu (CM)
Another player who has excelled this season, Romeu has been a solid shield for the Southampton backline and he will be vital for Puel’s side if they are to stop Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba, and co.
Steven Davis (CM)
The 32-year old Davis is the man that keeps the midfield ticking for Southampton and will have a major role to play on Sunday if his team are to stand a chance to win the silverware. His experience will come in handy for the Saints.
Nathan Redmond (RW)
The summer arrival was absolutely vital in Southampton’s run to the finals and will be the biggest attacking threat for Saints in their attack, against Manchester United at the Wembley.
James Ward-Prowse (CAM)
The 22-year old playmaker pulls the strings for Southampton from an advanced midfield role and his set-piece delivery will be a great danger to the United defence.
Dusan Tadic (LW)
The Bosnian is the Saints’ most creative outlet and has created the highest number of chances for Southampton in the Premier League. He will be tasked with bringing the rest of his attacking partners into play on Sunday.
Manolo Gabbiadini (ST)
The January transfer window signing has had a dream start to life in England, having netted three times in only two league appearances already and he will look to have a similar impact in the EFL Cup final on Sunday.