Mourinho forced into changes at St Mary's

Injuries have forced Jose Mourinho into making five changes to his Reds side as United face Southampton at St Mary’s.

Ashley Young comes back in to the side as captain after being rested in midweek in place of Antonio Valencia. Phil Jones retains his place at the back as Victor Lindelof is ruled out through injury, whilst it looks like he will partner Nemanja Matic, given Chris Smalling is not in the squad due to a “pain in his foot” as Mourinho revealed in an interview with BT Sport.

Scott McTominay comes into the side, as do Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in place of Fred and Jesse Lingard who drop to the substitutes bench.

Romelu Lukaku leads the line after he came off the bench to assist Marouane Fellaini’s last-gasp winner in midweek, with Anthony Martial joining potential Premier League debutant Diogo Dalot on the bench.

Alexis Sanchez misses out altogether after he picked up what could be a lengthy hamstring injury in training on Thursday.

United: De Gea, Young ©, Jones, Matic, Shaw, Fellaini, McTominay, Herrera, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku.

Substitutes: Romero, Dalot, Rojo, Fred, Lingard, Mata, Martial.

The United boss was interviewed pre-match and was asked about his selection.

“I have only one [central defender]. I would like to have Nemanja Vidic, but no Vidic, only Nemanja Matic and he’s a midfield player. Smalling has a pain in his foot so he is not available to play. Eric Bailly has a pain in his back so he is not available to play. Marcos Rojo trained yesterday for the first time with the group after a long absence and he is not ready to play. He’s ready to help but he is not ready to start. Lindelof has an important injury so the only centre-back we have available to play is Phil.”

Mourinho also made the point that the Premier League is now the priority given the Reds have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages. “Given the last match in Valencia is not an important one so in December we can say only one competition – Premier League, with lots of matches and lots of points to fight for. And let’s try to improve our position.”

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