Donny van de Beek is in line to start while Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata should feature from the kick-off when Manchester United face Watford in the FA Cup.
Manchester United will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways after their midweek disappointment when they welcome EFL Championship outfit Watford to Old Trafford for a third round FA Cup tie on Saturday.
Heading into the game, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not been hit with any fresh injury concerns. Edinson Cavani remains unavailable due to suspension, while Facundo Pellistri, who was hoping to make his senior debut this weekend, misses out after testing positive for coronavirus. Amad Diallo is unlikely to be involved either, having completed a transfer only this week.
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Solskjaer is expected to make wholesale changes to the team started in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat against Manchester City earlier this week. However, no alteration is likely to be made in goal, with Dean Henderson likely to be retained ahead of David de Gea in the cup tie.
Eric Bailly should get the nod at the heart of the Manchester United defence after missing the last game. The Ivory Coast international should partner Harry Maguire against Watford, with Alex Telles likely to replace Luke Shaw at left-back. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is expected to be given a breather, meaning Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams will vie for the right-back slot.
Addressing Williams’s lack of game-time this term in his pre-match presser, Solskjaer said, “I think he’s put his head down, worked really hard lately. He will be involved tomorrow. He’s in the squad. And he’s shown me that he’s got the desire to fight through this.”
While Solskjaer has insisted that Williams will be involved against Watford, the Englishman is only likely to get minutes from the bench amid speculations that he is on his way out on loan this month. Instead, Axel Tuanzebe should start at right-back against the Hornets.
Nemanja Matic should start in the middle of the park after not being involved in the midweek game. The Serb should have Scott McTominay for company in Manchester United’s midfield double pivot on Saturday night. Slotting in the No. 10 role for the Red Devils should be Donny van de Beek.
The 23-year-old summer signing has found game-time hard to come by this term, but Solskjaer confirmed in his presser that he will be involved against Watford. “Donny is going to play tomorrow. There’s another chance for him. Yes, I’ve spoken to him and reiterated and made him aware how much we rate him. But he’ll play tomorrow, and that’s a good chance to kick on,” he said.
Like Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are also expected to be given a bit of a breather on Saturday. This would open up an opportunity for Juan Mata and Daniel James to make an impression from the wide areas while Mason Greenwood spearheads the Manchester United attack against the Hornets.
Manchester United Predicted XI: Henderson; Tuanzebe, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Matic; Mata, van de Beek, James; Greenwood