Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney ready for Jose Mourinho’s Old Trafford

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Updated: August 19, 2016
Football

Manchester United host Southampton this evening at Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho expected to give £89m signing Paul Pogba his league debut.

The French international returns following his suspension which had been carried over from last season’s Coppa Italia with Juventus.

After scoring in the first two games Zlatan Ibrahimovic will once again lead the line with Wayne Rooney keen to continue to his own run of form.

The Red Devils welcome back defender Chris Smalling following a ban and Jesse Lingard has recovered from a foot injury.

Jose Mourinho looks likely to leave Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the substitue’s bench even though he had a very good pre-season.

The Armenian who signed for £26.3m in the summer has not really featured in United’s first two competitive games having only had a few seconds at the end of the Community Shield win over Leicester and the final 15 minutes in the 3-1 Premier League win at Bournemouth last weekend.

The Special One has come out and said: “Some managers when they buy players, the first thing they think is to protect themselves and their choices.”

“The players they buy have to play all the time. I am not like this. Before me comes the team, and what I think is the best for the team.

“Mkhitaryan is a super football player and he will be given a lot of opportunities this season.”

Saints’ captain Jose Fonte, who has recently been linked with United, he likely to start  after missing their opener because of a late start to pre-season. Ryan Bertrand is still injured which means Matt Targett will continue at left-back.

The signing of Paul Pogba is very interesting – it has been 20 years since the Premier League could boast ‘the world’s most expensive player’ which was when Alan Shearer moved from Blackburn to Newcastle for £15 million.

Next up for United is an away game against Hull on the 27th August then it is the ‘Manchester derby’ at Old Trafford on Saturday 10th September after the international break.

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