Watford gives United a chance to build momentum
Manchester United take on Watford in a crucial match for United’s season. A win may not see them surge up the table, it will certainly boost morale and momentum after a disapointing Derby defeat before the International Break. United have to react against Watford. Especially with Villarreal, Chelsea and Arsenal to come in the next two weeks. A win away to Watford will go a long way to kickstarting United’s season but it doesn’t come without complications. Here’s all you need to know:
Teams: Watford vs Manchester United
Date: Saturday 19th November 2021
KO Time: 15:00 GMT
Stadium: Vicarage Road
Managers: Claudio Ranieri and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Jon Moss
For Watford, Sierralta is out with a hamstring injury while Juraj Kucka is suspended after being red carded against Arsenal. Ozan Tufan will face a last minute fitness test after suffering a leg injury playing for Turkey. Kabasele, Baah, Sema and Etebo remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
United will be without Varane and Pogba still for a long time as Solskjaer confirms. Shaw, Rashford and McTominay have all travelled with the squad after missing international duty with injury. Edinson Cavani is still a doubt and is unlikely to feature. Van de Beek is reportedly in line to start after impressing in training.
- Manchester United have not kept a clean sheet at Vicarage Road since a League Cup win in 2000.
- Watford have 12 Premier League defeats against United. Their worst record against any side. (From BBC Sport)
- Claudio Ranieri has only won two matches in 14 against United. Both of which came when he was Chelsea boss. He has since, lost six and drawn six. (From BBC Sport)
- Cristiano Ronaldo is two goals short of 800 goals for club and country. (From BBC Sport)
Watford and Manchester United Predicted XIs
Watford have some great players on the counter attack. It is just whether the defence can weather the inevitable storm United can and should pose in attack. I expect a bank of four and then a midfield bank of five. Josh King up front will pose a threat on the break but can be contained if United’s defence is on point. Watford will play on the counter but hope their weakened midfield and struggling defence can cope.
Predicted Team (4-1-4-1): Foster, Femenia, Cathcart, N’Koulou, Rose, Sissoko, Cleverley, Pedro, Sarr, C. Hernandez, King
United will go strong but be wary of crucial matches away to Villarreal and Chelsea coming up. I think Henderson will get the nod in Spain and de Gea keeps his place for now. I think, long-term, Henderson will have to come in for the team’s best interest but I don’t think Ole will drop de Gea straight away. At the back, it should be unchanged depending on Shaw’s injury. Telles could come in as Shaw has been in bad form but, again, could be used against Villarreal.
I think Solskjaer will use a midfield two but the two that could start could be almost anyone. Fred came back on Thursday, McTominay has been ill and Donny and Matic have been out of favour but have been training all week. I would love to see McTominay and Van de Beek play together but I think it will be Matic and van de Beek, saving McFred for midweek and against Chelsea.
In attack, I could see Sancho and Rashford starting on the wings with Ronaldo just ahead of Bruno. United need a creative winger against a low block and Sancho will have the beating of Danny Rose. It could be a big game to get his first goal.
Predicted Team (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Van de Beek, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford, Ronaldo
I expect United to win and they could win very easily. Watford are defensively all over the place and only capitolised over Everton due to sloppy defending. United have to be switched on and should be after a good break. A big win would give the team a huge boost and could send them rolling into good form going into the new year. They have to win and well. And they are more than capable of doing so.
United to win 3-0