Preview: Manchester United looking to exact revenge over Watford

Old Trafford, Manchester

Premier League 2016/17

Saturday 11th February 2017 – KO 15:00

Referee: Robert Madley

Assistant Referees: Marc Perry and Dave Bryan

Fourth Official: Kevin Friend

Manchester United will be looking to exact revenge over Watford after an embarrassing 3-1 defeat last time out, as the Hornets scored two late goals to beat the Red Devils in Jose Mourinho’s early days. Desperately in need of three points, as Tottenham Hotspur are pitted against Liverpool this weekend, United need to remain calm in the midst of the Premier League’s storm and put away another difficult side to fight their way into the top four.

United have not lost a Premier League match in 15, but at Old Trafford, they have often struggled to convert draws into wins. This cannot be the same case against Watford, a side that should be ripe for the taking, despite winning their last two games and earning an impressive victory against Arsenal. However, allowing the Hornets into the game will result in a tough fixture for United, as they have a few special players who can make a difference and earn three points in the toughest of circumstances.

Manchester United Form: WDWLD

Leicester City 3-0 W, Hull City 0-0 D, Wigan Athletic 4-0 W, Hull City 2-1 L, Stoke City 1-1 D

Manchester United got back to winning ways against relegation-threatened Leicester City, with goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Juan Mata. Mkhitaryan, in particular, was majestic in United’s switched 4-2-3-1 formation that freed United’s forwards to attack and reduced the pressure on Paul Pogba. Should Mourinho persist with the system, there will be a higher dependence on Pogba and Ander Herrera to hold the side together, but they have more than enough capability to do so and lay the platform for a solid attacking performance.

Watford Form: WWLDD

Burnley 2-1 W, Arsenal 2-1 W, Millwall 1-0 L, Bournemouth 2-2 D, Middlesbrough 0-0 D

Watford’s last five games have, worryingly, been matched with Manchester United’s in terms of results. However, they remain a side that seems to struggle in simple fixtures, as exemplified by their premature FA Cup exit at the hands of Millwall. Their form also flatters to deceive because of their win over Arsenal- in reality, the Gunners have been very poor for a few weeks now and could be exiting the top four this weekend if they fail to beat Marco Silva’s irritating Hull City side.

Head to Head Record:

Manchester United: 17 victories

Draws: 5

Watford: 5 victories

Manchester United Top Scorers:

20 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 8 – Juan Mata, 7 – Paul Pogba, 6 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 5 – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Wayne Rooney, 3 – Jesse Lingard, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, 1 – Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Own Goal, Ander Herrera, Bastian Schweinsteiger

Watford Top Scorers:

7 – Troy Deeney, 5 – Etienne Capoue, 3 – Christian Kabasele, 2 – José Holebas, Odion Ighalo, Younes Kaboul, Stefano Okaka, Roberto Pereyra, 1 – Daryl Janmaat, M’Baye Niang, Sebastian Prödl, Jerome Sinclair, Isaac Success Ajayi, Juan Zuniga Mosquera

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Joel Pereira

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Injuries and Suspensions: Phil Jones (foot), Wayne Rooney (illness)

Watford Squad:

Manager: Walter Mazzarri

Goalkeepers: Heurelho Gomes, Rene Gilmartin, Costel Pantilimon, Giedrius Arlauskis, Charlie Bannister, Nathan Gartside

Defenders: Allan Nyom, Miguel Britos, Younès Kaboul, Sebastian Prödl, Adrian Mariappa, Juan Carlos Paredes, Craig Cathcart, Juan Camilo Zúñiga, José Holebas, Brice Dja Djédjé, Christian Kabasele, Tommie Hoban, Brandon Mason, Andrew Eleftheriou, Ola Adeyemo, Charlie Rowan, Connor Stevens

Midfielders: Nordin Amrabat, Tom Cleverley, Valon Behrami, Kenedy, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Adlène Guedioura, Ikechi Anya, Daryl Janmaat, Ben Watson, Étienne Capoue, Carl Stewart, Roberto Pereyra, Rhyle Ovenden

Forwards: Troy Deeney, Isaac Success, Jerome Sinclair, Matěj Vydra, Stefano Okaka, Michael Folivi, Alex Jakubiak, Ogo Obi

Suspensions/Injuries: Costel Pantilimon (foot), Christian Kabasele (hamstring), Nordin Amrabat (ankle), Roberto Pereyra (knee)

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Manchester United 2-1 Watford

Written by Aaron Moniz


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