Manchester United will be aiming to return to winning ways, when they welcome Watford to Old Trafford in their first match post the international break.
Manchester United will play hosts to eighth-placed Watford on Saturday afternoon, in what will be the first match after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was confirmed as the permanent manager.
Manchester United made the announcement earlier in the week, confirming that the Norwegian will be the full-time manager and he will be hoping to celebrate his appointment with a victory against the Hornets at home, after the Red Devils lost their two matches against Arsenal and Wolves.
Ahead of his big day, Solskjaer revealed that only three players are unavailable for the contest, allaying any fears of an injury crisis after a host of United players had withdrawn from international duties due to fitness issues. As quoted on the club’s official website, he said, “Alexis has just come back and there is only him who is out, along with Matteo and Antonio. Those three are out.”
There is no looking past David de Gea in goal for Manchester United. Ashley Young is set to return at right-back after having been suspended for the game against Wolves, while Luke Shaw, who withdrew from the England squad due to injury should be fit to start at left-back.
Eric Bailly sustained a head injury while on international duty with Ivory Coast, but should be available. However, Solskjaer seems to have found a settled central defensive partnership in Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof and the duo is likely to get the nod again on Saturday.
Nemanja Matic was another Manchester United player who withdrew from international duty with an injury. However, the Serb is fit and should get the nod in the defensive midfield role for the Red Devils against Watford. Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba should occupy the other two slots in the middle of the park for the home team.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were both forced to withdraw from the England and France squads, respectively during the international break, while Romelu Lukaku also did not feature for Belgium owing to a foot injury. However, the trio seem to have recovered ahead of the game against Watford.
But, it is unlikely that Solskjaer would put all three out on the pitch on Saturday against the Hornets. The fit-again Jesse Lingard is likely to start in a slightly withdrawn central role for Manchester United, with the pacy duo of Rashford and Martial likely to be preferred over Lukaku as the two forwards.