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Southampton: Hasenhuttl should unleash Oriol Romeu v Man United

Southampton will be looking to build on their 2-1 Premier League win against Leicester City when they face Manchester United at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Two goals from Che Adams secured Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side their first top-flight win of the season, but United could offer a much sterner test for the Saints in today’s lunchtime kick-off.

Erik ten Hag’s men will arrive on the south coast full of confidence after their win over Liverpool last Monday, while they have also been boosted by the arrival of Casemiro. The Brazilian has joined from Real Madrid, where he won five Champions League titles, and is likely to play some part for the Red Devils against the Saints in what could be an intriguing battle at St Mary’s.

In terms of history and finances, Southampton may be the David facing United’s Goliath, but Hasenhuttl can give his team the best possible chance of victory today by handing Oriol Romeu a start.

Following the signing of Romeo Lavia from Manchester City, the Spaniard has been left on the bench in each of Southampton’s last two games against Leeds United and Leicester.

While the old footballing cliché dictates that you shouldn’t change a winning team, Southampton will come up against a vastly experienced midfield which is likely to include Casemiro and fellow 30-year-old Christian Eriksen, and starting the 18-year-old Lavia could be a recipe for disaster.

Should Romeu start vs United?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Instead, Romeu can offer Southampton security, experience and consistency in midfield, evidenced by him finishing as the Saints’ second-best performer (as per WhoScored) behind James Ward-Prowse in the Premier League last season.

The former Chelsea man has been linked with a move to Girona in recent weeks but he still has a lot to offer Southampton both on and off the pitch, as Hasenhuttl emphasised in 2020.

The Saints manager said of Romeu: “I have never seen a professional like him before in my entire managing career. He’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever seen.

“When you see him as a professional, how he reacts when he’s not first choice, it’s unbelievable. He’s always the first on the pitch, always hard working. I think for this, they love him here.”

Romeu averaged the most tackles, interceptions and clearances per game among Southampton’s midfielders last season, so it is clear to see what he can offer Hasenhuttl in the middle of the park.

If the Saints want to make things difficult for United, and particularly Casemiro, on what is likely to be his first start in England, Hasenhuttl would be better off selecting Romeu from the start on Saturday, as the experienced Spaniard has the aforementioned traits to dominate the midfield battle against United’s newest signing.

Article title: Southampton: Hasenhuttl should unleash Oriol Romeu v Man United

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