Robin van Persie tipped for axe against Southampton

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been tipped to drop Robin van Persie for the match against Southampton on Sunday by the Manchester Evening News.

Manchester's biggest daily newspaper believes Van Persie could be in the firing line as Van Gaal will look to change things up now Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera are back and fully healthy.

The pair impressed against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup third round last weekend, and both should start in midfield against the Saints. As a result, Wayne Rooney may move from his midfield role into his preferred forward position.

That would mean one of Van Persie or Falcao would have to drop out, and with Falcao in superior goalscoring form to his Dutch teammate, it may be the Colombian who keeps his place.

Van Persie has looked out of sorts in his latest four games, barring a second half strike against Newcastle with the game already wrapped up.

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He was poor against Tottenham and Stoke, and with Falcao finding the net against the Potters in their last Premier League match, Van Gaal may opt to stick with him.

The former-Atletico frontman has often visibly flagged towards the end of matches, which means Van Gaal has a decision over whether to start him or bring him off the bench.

The other option is to drop Juan Mata, and play Rooney, Falcao and Van Persie in the same line-up along with Di Maria. That may be too bold though, against a Southampton team that have posed problems for the division's best teams this season.

Last meeting

It would certainly be a bold decision to drop Van Persie, who was the match-winner the last time these two teams met. He scored a brace at St Mary's to steal the three points for Van Gaal's side.

Southampton occupy fourth place in the Premier League table, while Manchester United are just above them in third and pushing for Champions League qualification.

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Robin Van Persie
Manchester United
Premier League

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