Manchester United vs Watford Preview: Two form sides clash at Old Trafford

Manchester United welcome Watford to Old Trafford this weekend as they look to continue their push for a position in the Champions League places.

The Hornets are also in a purple patch of their own, winning their last two Premier League games and they will be aiming to win three consecutive league games for the first time this season.

United closing on top four

Manchester United’s current 15 game unbeaten run in the Premier League stretches all the way back to October and has helped Jose Mourinho’s men close the gap on the top four.

The Red Devils now sit just two points behind Arsenal in 4th following their 3-0 victory over Leicester last Sunday. It was a dominant display from United at the King Power Stadium with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata all on the scoresheet.

One of United’s three league defeats this season came against the Hornets and Mourinho won’t want a repeat this weekend. However, with forwards such as Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic in terrific form the hosts will expect to find the net against Watford.

Hornets looking for third consecutive win

Walter Mazzarri and his Watford side have managed to put an end to their slump in form over the last fortnight with a 2-1 victories over both Arsenal and Burnley.

A memorable victory at the Emirates was followed up last weekend as goals from Troy Deeney and January signing M’Baye Niang sealed a crucial win at Vicarage Road against the Clarets.

New addition Niang looks to have given Watford another dimension going forward and he will be looking to impress on the big stage this weekend. Fellow January signing Mauro Zarate will be searching for his first goal since joining from Fiorentina.

Team News

Manchester United all-time top goalscorer Wayne Rooney returns after missing last weekend’s victory over Leicester through illness.

Marcos Rojo also returns for the hosts but Phil Jones is still recovering from a bruised foot.

As for Watford, they welcome back Christian Kabasele who has recovered from a muscle problem however Nordin Amrabat is expected to miss the game.

Last time the sides met

Watford earned a famous 3-1 victory over Manchester United in September with goals from Etienne Capoue, Juan Zuniga and Troy Deeney sealing the Hornets first victory over United since 1987.

Beforehand Watford hadn’t beaten Manchester United in 11 attempts which included conceding three or more goals on six occasions.

However, Manchester United did win in at Old Trafford in last season fixture with Juan Mata’s late goal being the difference between the sides. The Hornets haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1978 when they came away with a 2-1 victory in the League Cup.

Predicted Line-Ups

Manchester United: de Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Mata, Herrera, Pogba; Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Ibrahimovic.

Watford: Gomes; Cathcart, Kaboul, Prodl, Kabasele; Capoue, Behrami, Cleverley; Niang, Deeney, Zarate.