Jadon Sancho scores at Chelsea.

Line-ups debate: Who starts on the left?

Friday 11 February 2022 16:54

We're eagerly anticipating Manchester United's Premier League clash with Southampton and our debate around the line-up centres around who will start on the left-hand side of the attack.

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga have all performed in the position of late and, of course, there is the prospect that the wide men switch flanks regularly during the course of the game.

It's time to get your United Predictions in, in a bid to win some special prizes and climb the leaderboard, so we decided to focus on this slot in the side, ahead of a tough challenge with the Saints.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side won 3-2 at Tottenham in midweek so will be in great spirits for the trip north. However, will Tino Livramento or Romain Perraud, the chief right-back options for the visitors, be in for a difficult 90 minutes?

Anthony Elanga.
Who will be our wide-left attacker against Southampton?poll

Who will be our wide-left attacker against Southampton?


It wasn’t nice to see Anthony looking so down after missing his penalty against Middlesbrough and it’s important he knows that every single one of us is 100 per cent behind him. If anything, he has come out of that shootout with even more credit in the bank, because he showed an amount of bravery and courage that us supporters always appreciate.

The young attacker has been a standout performer under Rangnick so far and even has a chant in his honour, which is a significant achievement after 12 first-team appearances. Following his cameo outing in rainy Burnley on Tuesday night, I just have a feeling that Ralf will bring him back into the team at Old Trafford, to receive what will undoubtedly be a rapturous ovation from the crowd. Tactically, his energy and discipline could be vital against a high-pressing Southampton side as well.

All together now, “Rhythm is a dancer, Anthony Elanga".

- Mark Froggatt


We're fortunate to have such flexibility in attack, but my vote for the left-sided attacker against Southampton is perhaps the obvious one: Marcus Rashford. Almost all of our forwards can play in any of the attacking positions, but it's undeniable that some players suit certain areas better than others.

I think Marcus's best position is on the left; indeed, it's where he's had his greatest success as a United player, in the first two full seasons under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, when he scored 22 and 21 goals, respectively. Jadon Sancho is just as good there - he looked deadly in that first half at Turf Moor - but I feel he's a little bit more comfortable than Marcus is on the right. And at Borussia Dortmund, the stats showed that he produced roughly the same number of goals and assists no matter which flank he played on.

The beauty of it, of course, is that the pair can switch and spice things up at any point during a game. That might depend on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition full-backs, as much as Rashford and Sancho's own skills. But, all things being equal, I'd prefer to see Marcus on the left, slaloming his way past defenders or cutting inside to fire bombs with that merciless right foot. 

- Joe Ganley


Jadon Sancho was excellent at Burnley. I felt the fact he maintained such a high level of confidence on the ball, even when the going got tough, suggested he is ready to show his top form in a red shirt. Like most modern wide men, he is able to perform on either flank but there were encouraging signs in the way he was linking up down the left with Luke Shaw.

The chemistry between the pair was something they have clearly been working on at Carrington and, of course, they have also trained together with England. At the highest level, it's the ability to read each other's movements with split-second timing that are required to break down organised defences.

We know Tino Livramento, if he plays, loves to get forward himself so I wonder if there is a chance for Jadon to exploit any gaps left behind, particularly as he is looking so sharp and intelligent on the ball. The former Borussia Dortmund man is a smart footballer with the ability to make telling passes, not just mazy dribbles, and I think he may line up on the left in the lunchtime kick-off.

- Adam Marshall

Who plays left and who plays right?


United's wide attackers can play on either flank so Ben Thornley has his say on the art of wing-play.


The clock is ticking so have your say in the United App. The fan who scores the most points wins a signed shirt, wherever you are in the world.

Here's an update on what is proving most popular among the supporter base..

First scorer:

47% - Cristiano Ronaldo
15% - Bruno Fernandes
14% - Jadon Sancho

Correct score:
27% - United 2 Southampton 1
21% - United 2 Southampton 0
17% - United 3 Southampton 1

Man of the Match:
27% - David De Gea
21% - Cristiano Ronaldo
18% - Bruno Fernandes