Fresh from a positive result against Chelsea and a bore draw with Club Brugge, Manchester United return to Premier League action with a home clash against Watford on Sunday.
Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scored as the Red Devils left Stamford Bridge with all three points to boost their hopes of Champions League qualification on Monday evening, while a 1-1 draw in Belgium gave them the upper hand in their Europa League tie on Thursday night.
Watford are without a win in four league games after enjoying a mini revival under Nigel Pearson, and are in danger of being cut adrift from the stragglers above them unless the Hornets pick up points in the next few weeks.
How to Watch on TV
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 23 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||14:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Old Trafford|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event|
Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are confirmed absentees for United but Eric Bailly should be fit in time for the weekend, having been rested for the Club Brugge fixture after picking up a knock against Chelsea.
Scott McTominay, who
Odion Ighalo is still waiting for his first start but, with Martial enjoying a good run of form, he may have to settle for a substitute appearance against his old side.
As for Watford, Ismailla Sarr has had a fortnight to recover from a muscle problem but is still a doubt, so his absence could see Danny Welbeck start at his old stomping ground. There are further concerns over Kiko Femenia and Tom Cleverley, while Craig Dawson and Daryl Janmaat will definitely miss out.
There are plenty of options for Pearson to consider in central midfield, with Nathaniel Chalobah likely to come into the side in place of Will Hughes.
|Manchester United||De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Matic; James, Fernandes, James; Martial.|
|Watford||Foster; Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina; Chalobah, Capoue; Welbeck, Doucoure, Deulofeu; Deeney.|
Head to Head Record
In 28 games United hold a firm advantage with 20 victories, though Watford have taken steps to addressing that record in recent years.
Watford triumphed at Vicarage Road 2-0 in December thanks to strikes from Sarr and Troy Deeney, though United had won the previous five meetings prior to that encounter.
Whenever Solskjaer needs a couple of wins under his belt, he delivers. The former United striker seems to do just enough to keep Ed Woodward happy, even if that’s not enough for the club’s suffering fans.
The 2-0 victory against Chelsea seemed to come totally out of the blue, while the 1-1 draw at Club Brugge gives the Red Devils a platform to go on and qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League.
Following Manchester City’s UEFA ban, fifth place may be good enough to qualify for the Champions League, though United still need to overhaul both Sheffield United and Tottenham while being wary of Wolves behind them.
Wins against Wolves and Bournemouth had given Pearson’s Watford a new lease of life in their battle to avoid relegation, but the new manager bounce seems to have disappeared in the last few weeks.
Draws with Tottenham and Brighton have earned them a few precious points, though tight losses to Aston Villa and Everton have been somewhat demoralising.
|Club Brugge 1-1 Manchester United (20/2)||Brighton 1-1 Watford (8/2)|
|Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United (17/2)||Watford 2-3 Everton (1/2)|
|Manchester United 0-0 Wolves (1/2)||Tranmere 2-1 Watford (23/1)|
|Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United (29/1)||Aston Villa 2-1 Watford (21/1)|
|Tranmere 0-6 Manchester United (26/1)||Watford 0-0 Tottenham (18/1)|
United don’t like playing sides that they should beat. They have a bad record against teams lower than them, losing at Old Trafford to Burnley and Crystal Palace and drawing with Aston Villa and pre-Carlo Ancelotti Everton this season.