The English Premier League resumes after the international break, and one fixture to look forward to will be Premier League new boys Watford FC (4-4-4, 16 points) hosting perennial powerhouse Manchester United (7-2-3, 24 points) at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening.
Manchester United will embark on a trip to Vicarage Road for a battle with newly promoted Watford in the Premier League this weekend, hoping to continue where they left off for the international break, winning seven matches on the bounce across all competitions.
|Date, time and venue||Vicarage Road plays host to Saturday’s match|
|Where to watch||BT Sport 1 and BT Sport HD are televising Saturday match.|
|Tickets||The match has completely sold out.|
Jesse Lingard’s debut goal for the Red Devils and a late Juan Mata penalty earned Louis van Gaal’s side a hard-fought victory over West Bromwich Albion in their latest fixture before the break.
The Red Devils will be aiming to replace Manchester City at the top of Premier League table by bridging two points gap with a victory over Quique Sánchez Flores’s side this weekend. They are having mix fortunes on the road this season so far (W3, L2, D1),
Watford on the other hand; lost to Leicester City in the league last time out and will certainly be out not only to revive their campaign but also to grab their first victory against Manchester United in 29 years. The Hornets’ back four have put on a good show this season; conceding very few goals.
Manchester United have been rock solid in their defence lately evident by the fact that they have not conceded even a single goal in over nine hours of football across all competitions since a 1-1 draw against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League fixture on October 21, 2015.
Scoring has remained a cause of concern for the Old Trafford outfit, however, following three successive goalless draws last month, United returned to winning ways in games against CSKA Moscow (home) and West Brom (away).
The Hornets’ registered successive victories against Stoke City (away) and West Ham United (home) before losing 2-1 to Leicester City in their last outing and currently occupy 11th spot on the Premier League table.
However, Quique Sanchez Flores’ side have struggled for goals at home, scoring just three in six games at Vicarage Road.
Watford has no real injury concerns ahead of the game apart from Jurado Marin and Ekstrand. Sanchez Flores will definitely be able to call upon core members of his team for this one.
Manchester United’s injury nightmare seem to be on the rise, with Martial and Carrick the latest to join the list. Both players picked up injuries while on international duty.
Luke Shaw and Valencia are surely out as they continue recovery from surgeries, Fellaini seems to have shaken off his knock so he should be in the squad.
James Wilson has stepped up his recovery and is nearing a return.
Chris Smalling and Marouane Fellaini will undergo assessment ahead of the game.
Ashley Young is also likely to get a start against the club he remained associated with for over a decade. The promising winger has fond memories of Vicarage Road as he played a crucial role in Watford’s promotion to the Premier League in 2006.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Manchester United: Juan Mata deserves plaudits for his orchestrating displays so far this season. He has the most assists in the Man’ United team. Watford will have to stop him if they are to stand a chance in this game.
Deeney has really led by example this season, scoring two goals and making a further three assists. His aerial ability will be a handful for United’s defence. Stopping the Hornets skipper from being on top of his best game will add to The Red Devil’s chances of winning.
The Red Devils have won each of the last nine games across all competitions against Watford while the Hornets’ are yet to register their first victory against Saturday’s might opponents since September 1986.
United skipper Wayne Rooney has scored three goals in two matches against the Hornets in all competitions.
The England international needs one more goal to become Manchester United’s second-highest-scorer in all competitions. He’s currently tied with Denis Law on 237, 12 behind Bobby Charlton.
Watford have lost only two of their last nine league fixtures at home (W4, D3, L2) while United have lost just once in their last eight Premier League games at Old Trafford (W5 D2).
Louis van Gaal’s men have not conceded even a single goal in over nine hours of football (555 minutes, five games). They last enjoyed a similar run of clean sheets between the end of 04/05 and start of 05/06 season (six games in total).
Vicarage Road club have conceded more than two goals in five meetings against the Red Devils.
Manchester United have failed to score in three of their last five top-flight games.
Juan Mata has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player at the club (30).
Man Utd have the best chance conversion rate in the season thus far. However, only Sunderland (79) have fired in fewer shots than the Red Devils (85, excluding blocked attempts).
Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake Abdi, Watson, Anya, Capoue, Deeney, Ighalo (4-4-2)
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Young, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Rooney; Schweinsteiger, Mata, Lingard; Martial