Manchester United are doing well in the Premier League, sitting in second place of the standings, but they have ended their hopes of getting some silverware in the League Cup, after a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City in the semifinal of the competition. Now it is time to switch to the third competition in seven days – the FA Cup. The famous third round is around the corner and Manchester United will be hosting Watford at Old Trafford. The Championship side is currently in sixth place in the English second tier and they are hoping of jumping straight back to the Premier League after getting relegated in 2020.
]Manchester United should expect to see some changes in the starting lineup. The Devils will still be without Edinson Cavani through suspension and Phil Jones is still injured, while Marcos Rojo is far from the starting lineup. We could see Donny van de Beek get a start finally, while Juan Mata and Daniel James are usually getting their opportunities in matches like these.
As far as Watford are concerned, they have their injury woes – Domingos Quina, Stipe Perica and Isaac Success are all injured, whil Christian Kabesele still has knee issues. We should, nevertheless, see Troy Deeney and Andre Gray start up front, with Tom Cleverley returning to Old Trafford.
Watford are not in a great mood. A club known for its turbulences is doing it again, as the now Championship-based club is trying to get back to top flight as soon as possible. The Hornets have had a bad 2020 – they got relegated from the Premier League after an inexplicable change of managers late into the season and after a 2-0 win against Rotherham United in early December, they changed their manager once again. Vladimir Ivic was sacked and Xisco Munoz took his place. Since then, it has been a rocky ride.
In their last five matches, Watford won twice, drew once and lost twice. Their last match was a 2-1 loss at Swansea and it will be a big task for Hornets to try to come up to Manchester and get a win at Old Trafford.
Manchester United, on the other side, have ended their run of five wins and two draws in a 2-0 loss to Manchester City. The League Cup semifinal was once again the stage at which Red Devils got eliminated in that competition and now the FA Cup should be a good place to start the winning run once again. This will be United’s last home match before three tricky trips away, first at Burnley, then at Liverpool, followed by a trip to Fulham’s Craven Cottage.
Manchester United should beat Watford and we say they could do it with a two-goal difference or bigger. It will not be the easiest game, as Watford do have some really good individuals, but they are also a side known for the occasional lack of effort. That should not be their problem at Old Trafford and therefore Solskjaer and his players will still need to be very careful in approach to this game.