Manchester United will face Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. United will be seeking to return to winning ways in the league after a 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend, which could have had United a mere two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. A 3-0 victory over Colchester United in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening will be a boost for United.
Over the next three games before the end of the year and decade, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking a way of breaking back into the top four, which was in reach after the victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the last fortnight and that draw with Everton messed it up. Solskjaer will need his best available team to grind a result against bottom of the table Watford, a match United could struggle in.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spanish goalkeeper got himself a rest during the week with Sergio Romero stepping into his boots in the Carabao Cup victory over Colchester United. De Gea might have to play in the next three matches against Watford, Newcastle United and Burnley before the month ends, although Romero might be given a rare Premier League outing if De Gea needs to be rested with a view to the Arsenal match on. New Year’s Day. De Gea has not kept a clean sheet in the league since the victory over Leicester City in September and 12 league matches have been played since then. It is about time the defence managed a clean sheet and the match against Watford could well be that match, hopefully.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw
This season, the back four which consists of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw is the first-choice back four. Brandon Williams has had a few good appearances in the left-back position with Axel Tuanzebe taking the place of Lindelof at times, but based on ability and promise, this is the best mixture, at this moment in time at least. United kept a clean sheet with Maguire and Shaw on the pitch during the week and getting a long-awaited clean sheet in the Premier League will be something the players need to achieve this weekend, if they can.
Midfield: Fred, Scott McTominay
Fred and Scott McTominay are the best midfield due at the club this season. Both has been pulling it out of the bag in recent weeks and Fred has grown as a player since last season, when he hardly ever played because of his poor performances. With Paul Pogba still out of action, for however long that may be, having McTominay and Fred build a midfield partnership with add something to this team. It might also give Pogba and others a fight to get back into the team on a more regular basis. It is clear though that United need to add some talent to the midfield ranks as creativity is a problem in the position.
Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford
Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford should all play against Watford. Lingard has been improving in his play, even if it is just a little bit. James adds a deathly amount of pace to the team and can cross the ball in from the right and Rashford adds a player in form into the team, a player who is seeking to reach more than twenty goals in a season for the first time in his senior career. Over the past two seasons he has scored 13 goals in all competitions, beating that with his 14th goal of the season against Colchester United on Wednesday. Combined, all three players can add pace, attacking prowess and creativity to provide Martial with good balls for his to find the back of the net.
Striker: Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial scored his seventh goal of the season when United faced Colchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday matching Mason Greenwood’s seven goals this season. Despite playing 90 minutes, it would seem that Martial will need to play in order to get match fitness ahead of the busy stage of the season which will see United play three times in six days or four times in ten days if you include the away trip to Arsenal on New Year’s Day. Martial will need to find a way to get himself amongst the goals for United as right now, he’s not being that leading man he could become.
Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams; Andreas Pereira, James Garner; Mason Greenwood
Diogo Dalot returned from injury to face AC Milan in an U19s friendly on Friday evening and for that reason, he could be on the bench against Watford on Sunday. Sergio Romero will most likely be back on the bench following his clean sheet against Colchester United on Wednesday. Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams could be the other defensive players on the bench; Dalot has played a more advanced role in the team when he has played under Solskjaer. Andreas Pereira and James Garner could provide something in midfield if needed with Mason Greenwood being the attacking player on the bench for this match.