Big Test for Manchester United at Watford - Premier League Preview

Big Test for Manchester United at Watford - Premier League Preview

Following back to back home wins, Manchester United will make the trip to Vicarage Road to face an in-form Watford at a really crucial phase of the season.

Now Watford are in great shape under manager Marco Silva who has really put his stamp on the Hornets this season. They are eighth in the league with 21 points under their belt, scoring 23 goals so far – more than the likes of Spurs and only 1 less than fourth-placed Arsenal.

Watford have picked up in the last couple of weeks after losing three games on the bounce, including a poor result at home to Stoke City in the process.

As expected the bookmakers have Watford priced up as underdogs against United at 9/2, with the draw at 3/1 and Man Utd big favourites at 4/6. If you’re planning a punt on the match then here’s a list of PayPal accepted sites offering odds – the great thing here being you keep your card details private from your betting site so you can stay safe when you bet online (which we’d always recommend).

They will be ready for the visit of Manchester United knowing they have the players and more importantly goals in them to hurt the visitors but it will be interesting to see if they can keep them at bay long enough to secure a positive result.

For Manchester United, this is again a must-win game. They cannot afford to lose any more ground at least until they face the league-leaders themselves at home in two weeks’ time. Manchester United have gained some much-needed momentum and confidence back by extending their unbeaten record at home to 39 in all competitions but it is the away record that needs a boost under Mourinho.

With only 2 wins in the last 6 on the road, the Red Devils really need to change their approach in the away encounters –  if they were to keep the pressure on Manchester City who have managed to retain their 8-point advantage over them in the league.

Team News 

Watford have no fresh injuries for the visit of Manchester United. They will continue to miss the likes of Chalobah (knee), Kaboul (hamstring) and Cathcart (knee) in midweek. Captain Troy Deeney is back in contention after serving the final game of a three-match suspension

Manchester United are expected to rotate their squad a bit after making seven changes each in the last two games. Centre-halves Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are still recovering and Michael Carrick who has recently had a minor cardiac procedure will miss out on the trip down South to Watford.

Expected Lineups

Watford starting XI: Gomes, Mariappa, Kabasele, Prodl, Femenia, Hughes, Doucoure, Cleverley, Zeegelaar, Richarlison, Gray

Man United starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Matic, Pogba; Martial, Fellaini, Rashford; Lukaku

Interesting Numbers 

  • Watford have scored at least 2 goals in 7 of their last 8 matches (Premier League).
  • Manchester United are undefeated in 34 of their last 38 matches (Premier League).
  • Man United have won 9 of their last 10 matches against Watford in all competitions. However, their last defeat came in September 2016 – at Vicarage Road.

Key Men 

Richarlison – Watford 

Richarlison is one of the most in-form players in the league amassing 5 goals and 3 assists for the Hornets already. The 20-year old is dynamic – with pace and strength in the air (4.2 aerial duels won per game) – and his performance will be really key to the home side who could potentially exploit United’s recent shaky displays at the back – particularly in the full-back areas where they tend to get caught high up.

Paul Pogba – Manchester United

The Frenchman has made an assured comeback to the side, dominating games in midfield and affecting the way United approach a football match. Pogba has been prolific this season but United need to start winning away games consistently to stand a chance of challenging City – who, at this moment in time, do look unstoppable. With Pogba, United tend to be more assertive and against a Watford side who could be got at, it’s imperative that the visitors go with the right attitude from minute one to avoid a repeat of last season.

Prediction 

I feel United are due a strong away result and with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in the frame, they should get one at Watford.

Watford 0-2 Manchester United