Manchester United vs Watford: Things to look out for
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Watford FC at Old Trafford on February 23, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Following a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to rivals Manchester City in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, Manchester United now turn their attentions towards the FA Cup third round.

With two cup exits already this season in the Champions League and League Cup, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will hope to keep their trophy hopes alive as they welcome Watford to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils will look to get back to winning ways here in order to build momentum ahead of vital clashes against Burnley and Liverpool in the Premier League.

So, what should United fans being looking out for this time out?

Key players rested

Key players in the United squad could be given a rest in this match with a pair of highly important games fast approaching. After this cup tie, the Reds will play their game in hand against Burnley as they aim to leapfrog Liverpool and go top of the league table before facing the bitter rivals just five days later.

With that in mind and given the fact that Solskjaer will likely fancy his chances against Championship opposition, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford could be rested. The pair looked off the pace against City in comparison to their usual performances and should really be protected for the upcoming fixtures.

Embed from Getty Images

It would not be at all surprising to see the likes of Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata or Mason Greenwood start in their place.

Fringe player to feature

Players on the fringe of the United squad this season could be given a chance to redeem themselves and look to earn a more regular place in the team's match day squads.

Solskjaer confirmed in his press conference that Odion Ighalo will feature against his former club. The veteran striker has not played since the 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint Germain at the start of December but will be in Saturday's squad.

Embed from Getty Images

Another player who could make a rare appearance is Jesse Lingard. The 28-year old has not featured since September but may receive some game time following the extension of his contract.

Is a rare clean sheet on the cards?

Whether it's been David De Gea or Dean Henderson between the sticks this season, clean sheets have been few and far between. United have only managed to keep eight clean sheets in 26 games in all competitions this campaign and have conceded 36 goals in the process.

Embed from Getty Images

Given the fact that this tie is against lower league opposition, it would be disappointing for the team not to keep a clean sheet, however, if this defence can keep Watford at bay and start racking up clean sheets then it can only aid their confidence moving forward.

Henderson is likely to be given a start having already been utilised in the League Cup and the young goalkeeper may be encouraged by the clean sheets he kept against Luton Town, Brighton and Hove Albion and Everton.

 

VAVEL Logo