Henrik Mkhitaryan’s absence gives Saints a chance in EFL Cup final


I would have been fancying Manchester United quite comfortably before Wednesday night’s game but Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be sorely missed.



It was a very strange call to play such a strong side in the Europa League with the tie all but over and Jose Mourinho has paid the price.
Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing well again though makes me very unsure as to who to back.
Ibrahimovic is United’s most important player but Mkhitaryan gives United more fluency and movement, so young Jack Stephens will have an easier job of just playing what is in front of him.
Now he can focus a bit more on dealing with Ibrahimovic with the protection of Oriol Romeu, who can be more central now he doesn’t have to worry about Mkhitaryan’s movement.
I think it will be a tight game as Claude Puel has his side very organised and ready to strike on the counter-attack.
When you saw Southampton against Liverpool then you appreciate what they’re good at and they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this.



They’ll not want to open it up too much and if they can get past the first 20 minutes then they’re right in the game.
Charlie predicts: Man United to win in extra-time – 10/1 with Sky Bet
In the early Premier League kick-off on Sunday, we’ve got a game where everybody will turn up and expect Tottenham to have a comfortable day, but once again I can’t see it being straightforward.
Spurs need to start well, as they’ve found out in the Europa League. They did that well in the FA Cup when I thought they might struggle and that’s the key to them having a successful season.






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