Koeman: Southampton will target Blind

The coach believes the centre-back could struggle with the strength of Graziano Pelle on Sunday and hopes to expose his physical weaknesses

Southampton will target Daley Blind when they face Manchester United on Sunday, according to Saints boss Ronald Koeman.

Blind is a midfielder by trade but the Netherlands international has been preferred alongside Chris Smalling at the heart of United’s defence this season.

However, former United centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes Blind is the weak point of Louis van Gaal’s defence and Koeman is ready to exploit his slight frame.

“On one side I agree [with Ferdinand] about his position,” Koeman said.

“I think he can play very well out of that position but he’s not really a strong defender physically. That’s sometimes the problem.

“He has a lot of other qualities out of that position that can be very positive for the team.

“It’s our job to analyse opponents and, if he plays left or as a centre-back, we can do some movements in attack with crosses.

“We know that [striker Graziano] Pelle is very strong and normally he’s stronger than Blind is or stronger than Rojo is.”

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