Chance for Austin to cement forward role at Southampton

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed that Charlie Austin is in contention to play against Manchester United this Saturday.

What’s the update?

The former Queens Park Rangers striker has been struggling with a knock, but has been deemed fit enough to be part of the squad this weekend.

The 28-year-old has made just three substitute appearances in the Premier League so far this season.

In total he has played just 50 minutes of top-flight action, with Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long being used in attack by the manager.

Should Austin start against United?

Given that the striker has not played since the Saints’ 2-0 defeat to Watford on September 9, throwing him into a game against a team of United’s calibre would be a risk.

However, it seems that Pellegrino has not decided who his regular first-choice forward will be, so it might be worth giving Austin a chance.

The former Burnley attacker ended last season as the Saints’ top scorer with nine goals, despite spending a large chunk of the campaign on the treatment table with a dislocated shoulder.

Austin has proven in the past that he can find the back of the net consistently having scored 37 league goals for QPR across the 2013-14 season and 2014-15 campaign.

Southampton have scored just four top-flight goals in five outings this season, and considering that Gabbiadini and Long have not set the world alight, it might be worth giving Austin an opportunity to impress.