Jose Mourinho is taking his Manchester United side to Wembley Stadium to face Southampton, and is looking to win the EFL Cup for the fourth time in his managerial career this Sunday. However it may not be all good for the Red Devils as they might be without a few players due to injury. United beat Northampton, Manchester City, West Ham and Hull City on their way to reach this stage. Claude Puel’s Southampton robbed Liverpool of a memorable final against Manchester United and will be looking to pull off another masterful performance in the final in his first year at the club.
Southampton, who have had a fortnight to prepare for the final, defeated Sunderland 4-0 in their latest Premier League outing, with January signing Manolo Gabbiadini scoring twice to make it three goals in two appearances for the Saints. That ended a run horrendous of three straight defeats for Claude Puel’s side, who secured a 2-0 aggregate success over Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-final, now hoping to secure their first League Cup ever.
The biggest question mark for United ahead of the Wembley trip is the fitness of Henrikh Mkhitaryan (hamstring) and Michael Carrick (calf), after they were withdrawn during Wednesday’s win over Saint-Etienne.
Jose Mourinho suggested Marouane Fellaini and Bastian Schweinsteiger could feature and it will be interesting to see what the central midfield combination would be.
Sunday’s crunch-time fixture probably came too soon for Southampton’s Sofiane Bofane (ankle), as he continues his rehabilitation alongside other key stars like Virgil van Dijk (ankle) and Charlie Austin (shoulder) who are long term absentees. They are all due to miss the final.
However, Southampton will fancy their chances, as they are a very good side on their day. Let’s not bet against them putting on a show against United.
It promises to be a cracker of a final.
Predicted Starting Eleven
Manchester Utd starting XI: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Martial, Ibrahimovic.
Southampton starting XI: Forster, Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Romeo, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond, Gabbiadini.