Vicarage Road, Watford
21st November, 2015
Manchester United will have to deal with a huge injury list ahead of the game against Watford, who are 11th on the table and riding on the form of strike partners Ighalo and Deeney up front, will look to make full use of the home advantage and try to get all 3 points, which would see them enter the top half of the table.
United meanwhile will have to win this game if they are to put any pressure on the three teams above them on the Premier League table and 3 points would see them at the top of the table, although that is not likely to last till the end of the weekend.
Team News and Tactical Brief For Manchester United
Anthony Martial is injured, Wayne Rooney is ill and James WIlson is not match fit. Even makeshift striker Maruoane Fellaini has a calf injury which will rule him out of the match. This leaves Louis Van Gaal with a selection problem on his hands, one that has long been heralded as on it’s way given the shortage of strikers in the United squad.
The move has even prompted him to call up 18 year old striker Marcus Rashford from the youth team to add some attacking power to the squad. This could be the opportunity for Memphis Depay, who might be played as the lone striker up front by Louis Van Gaal and he will look to use his pace and trickery to finally live up to the expectations that United had from him at the start of the season.
While the wingers and number 10 positions will be taken up by the more than capable trio of Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata. Lingard is fresh off his first call up to the England squad and will be looking to score again after that debut goal against West Brom. Mata has made the right flank his own, despite criticism of being played out of place, and Herrera is one of the best players that is teetering on the edge of United’s preferred starting XI.
In holding midfield, Carrick’s injury means that Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger are the best options availbale to Van Gaal, but due to Schweinsteigers fitness issues at the ripe old age of 31, Van Gaal may be tempted to play Daley Blind as a holding midfielder as opposed to Central defence where he has looked weak at times.
Matteo Darmian will return from a one match ban to reclaim the right back position, while Marcos Rojo is the best option that LVG has at left back since the injury to Luke Shaw.
Manchester United probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1) – de Gea, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian, Blind, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Herrera, Mata, Memphis.
Team News and Tactical Brief For Watford
Watford will have a late fitness test for Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo, who is joint second highest goal scorer in the premier league this season. Should he play, then he and captain Troy Deeney will form a lethal partnership up front and will look to ride on the form that has seen Watford become the only newly promoted side to be relatively far off from the relegation zone.
Injury woes for the club include former Werder Bremen defender Sebastian Prodl, who is out with a calf injury, along with Tommie Hoban, Joel Ekstrand and Rene Gilmartin.
The rest of the squad is fully fit and the mananger Quique Sanches Flores, who incidentally was the manager who gave United talisman David de Gea his big break at Atletico Madrid, will look to make the most of Manchester United’s injury problems and stop the Red Devils from climbing to the top of the table by beating his team.
Watford probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1) – Gomes, Britos, Cathcart, Ake, Nyom, Capoue, Watson, Anya, Jurado, Deenery, Ighalo
- Manchester United have won the last nine matches in all competitions against Watford, with the Hornetsa last win coming back in September 1986, 1-0 at home in the league.
- Watford have suffered just two defeats in their last nine league games at Vicarage Road, winning four and drawing three.
- Manchester United have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games.
The Red Devils have now gone five games in all competitions without conceding a goal (555 minutes). The last time they enjoyed a longer run of clean sheets was between the end of 04/05 and start of 05/06 (six games).
Player to Watch Out For
Memphis Depay (Manchester United)
Memphis will look to take advantage of the injury situation at Manchester United by reminding Louis Van Gaal of his ability and skills which made the manager shell out 21 million pounds for him in the summer. Whether he is deployed as the lone striker or a winger, expect the young Dutchman to use his trickery and pace to trouble the Watford defence and make use of this golden opportunity to get back his first team place.
Watford 0 – 3 Manchester United
Manchester United will look to continue their mean defensive streak and the attack has been known to take advantages of teams lower down the table, like they did with Sunderland and Southampton. This will also be a big opportunity for the youngsters in the team to impress LVG, given the absence of his usual poster boys.
Manchester United should ease past Watford while scoring a few good goals.
Blast From The Past