(live @ Sky Sport 3/Calcio 2)
St. Mary's Stadium
Van Persie is likely to get another chance to show Arsenal what they are missing in Sunday's second match which pits Manchester United against newly-promoted Southampton. Wayne Rooney will be sidelined for some time with a nasty leg injury but, judging by the performance of his new Dutch team-mate against Fulham last weekend, the Red Devils will cope with his absence. Manchester United will be looking to produce a convincing performance after a stuttering start to the season. The Red Devils were beaten by Everton in their opening game before edging past Fulham at Old Trafford last weekend and captain Nemanja Vidic has called for the team to be more focused.
Southampton acquitted themselves well against Manchester City on the opening weekend but slipped to defeat at home by Wigan last time out and will be determined to pick up their first points of the campaign. With trips to Arsenal and Everton lined up later in the month, the pressure is in danger of mounting early on for the newly-promoted side. But it's worth remembering that when these teams met in the FA Cup just last year they were separated by two divisions.
• Saints are in danger of losing their opening three matches of a season for the first time in 11 years.
• Manchester United have allowed their opponents more shots on target against them than any other team in the Premier League this season (13).
Nigel Adkins made no less than eleven changes for the midweek Capital One cup tie victory over Stevenage and will be expected to recall his first-teamers for the visit of United. The former Scunthorpe manager will be tempted to call upon new striker Emmanuel Mayuka after he was granted a work permit this week, although fellow new signing, Maya Yoshida, was not signed in time to make his debut. Jack Cork remains a doubt as he battles back from an ankle injury.
K Davis • N Clyne, J Fonte, J Hooiveld, D Fox • S Davis, M Schneiderlin, A Lallana • G Do Prado, R Lambert, J Rodriguez
Southampton’s two new signings are unlikely to feature. Japan defender Maya Yoshida, who captained his country at the Olympics, is back in his native country to play in the upcoming internationals. Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka is also unlikely to feature after signing during the week.
Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled Ashley Young out of the trip to Southampton, whilst confirming that Wayne Rooney will be sidelined with four weeks with his gashed thigh. Young's setback is minor by comparison but a knock to his knee, sustained against Fulham, will keep him sidelined this weekend. His absence will likely see Nani come in on the left flank with Antonio Valencia on the right. Ferguson confirmed that Jonny Evans came through an Under 21 match in midweek and now gives the United boss the option to shift Michael Carrick back into a midfield role.
D de Gea • Rafael, J Evans, N Vidic, P Evra • LA Valencia, M Carrick, T Cleverley, L Nani • S Kagawa • R van Persie