United Injury Report vs Southampton: Martial, Valencia, Darmian, Fellaini

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anthony-martial

Frenchman forward Anthony Martial was back in training for Manchester United on Thursday, having missed the Boxing Day draw at home versus Burnley. Martial getting back to work at Carrington Training Ground hands the Red Devils a major fitness boost as they prepare to take on Southampton at home. (Here’s a link to more on Martial)

Matteo Darmian also missed the Boxing Day clash due to a minor injury but he’s also back in training and could potentially provide manager Jose Mourinho with another selection option as Antonio Valencia is very likely to miss this one.

antonio valencia

United’s official website posted “Early team news” for this match a few hours ago and they report that Valencia “is presumably still missing with the hamstring problem that he sustained in the recent victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.”

Staying with the back line, Eric Bailly remains a long-term absentee and his ankle surgery could keep him on the sidelines until March. Mourinho has already ruled Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick out for the entire festive period. The former opened up about his knee injury this week, describing in detail about how his situation could have become much worse!

The latter is still recovering from an irregular heart rhythm.

Flipping over to the visitors, “Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino also fears that striker Charlie Austin is set to be sidelined for some weeks with a hamstring injury that he suffered against Huddersfield Town last Saturday,” according to United’s team news posting.

Obviously, the south coast club will not have Virgil van Dijk, as United’s arch-rival Liverpool announced that they acquired the defender yesterday.

The Van Dijk acquisition broke both the LFC club transfer fee record, and the world record for a defender.

Go here for the MUFC starting XI prediction. We’ll have video of Mourinho’s press conference tomorrow. With four points dropped in their last two league fixtures, United have seen their title odds degenerate from extreme long shot to now pretty much eliminated. Mourinho made comments on Tuesday claiming that his side can’t truly compete with Manchester City because they don’t have the transfer market budget to match their intra-city rivals.

This led to Mourinho’s arch-nemesis Arsene Wenger taking a swipe at the Portugese yesterday.

arsene wenger jose mourinho

Odds: Man United- 2/5  Draw- 15/4 Southampton- 15/2

Prediction: United 1, Southampton 0

As always, feel free to post your own MUFC starting XI and/or final score prediction in the comments section below.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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