Preview: Solskjaer seeking a Theatre of Dreams victory over Watford to return to winning ways


Manchester United -v- Watford

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 30 March 2019; KO 15:00 GMT

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Manchester United will be back in action at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Javi Gracia’s Watford in the Premier League. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, just announced as the new permanent manager for the next three years, will be seeking to get back to winning ways after two back to back defeats.

There is a great feeling around the Old Trafford club, especially after Solskjaer has been confirmed as the new manager of the club. Perhaps a director of football is incoming also, which would set the club up for a good summer transfer window as things really do need to change. United, as a team, seem more confidence under Solskjaer, which is a good thing.

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Form: Watford has had better results recently but they have conceded more goals than United

Manchester United: LLWWWD

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Arsenal 2-0 L, Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 W, Southampton 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D

United still need to get back to winning ways after losing to Arsenal in the Premier League and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup. Other than those defeats, United had a good streak, winning three times, drawing once. It is important for Solskjaer that United overturn this bit of poor form and find their feet and confidence in front of goal again.

Watford: WLWLWW

Crystal Palace 2-1 W, Manchester City 3-1 L, Leicester City 2-1 W, Liverpool 5-0 L, Cardiff City 5-1 W, Queens Park Rangers 1-0 W

Watford has not been in the best of form recently, which adds uncertainty for United, who need to return to winning ways after losing their last two matches. Javi Gracia’s side has los twice in their last six matches, conceding five goals against Liverpool and another three against Manchester City. United should ensure they are ready to battle.

Top Scorers: United have scored more goals this season but they need to start scoring again, starting against Watford

Manchester United: 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 14 – Paul Pogba, 12 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

Watford: 9 – Troy Deeney, 7 – Gerard Deulofeu, Andre Gray, 6 – Roberto Pereyra, 4 – Etienne Capoue, Isaac Success, 3 – Craig Cathcart, Abdoulaye Doucouré, José Holebas, 2 – Will Hughes, Domingos Quina, 1 – Tom Cleverley, Ken Sema

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Team News: Injuries still present for United but the squad is still ready to continue the season

United has ten players on the sidelines through injury. Alexis Sanchez (MCL) is definitely out of this fixture. The following nine players are doubts; Antonio Valencia (calf), Romelu Lukaku (foot), Mason Greenwood (illness), Marcus Rashford (ankle), Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian (knock), Anthony Martial (knee) and Eric Bailly (head).

Watford manager Javi Gracia has a near fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of the clash with United at the Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. José Holebas is the only doubt as he is sidelined with an ankle injury. Other than that, his side is in good spirits and form and they will be seeking to return to the Theatre of Dreams looking for a victory.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford to lead the line, Martial and Lingard to support, Pogba to continue France form to inspire United?

With the number of injuries still within the squad, Solskjaer could have to make do with a number of changes again. There is a chance that the likes of Nemanja Matic, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw could be fit enough to face Watford, being that all three played no part of the international break. However, Solskjaer does have a big squad which he needs to trust.

Match Prediction: United has been dominant over Watford in the past but need to increase their game to get the win this weekend

United and Watford have played 31 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 28 January 1950, a 1-0 United victory in the FA Cup. United has won 21 matches, drawn five matches and lost five matches. United has scored 57 goals, conceded 27, keeping 13 clean sheets.

Manchester United 2-1 Watford

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