Manchester United - Watford preview: Reds looking to keep their momentum going

Manchester United host Watford at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, looking to make it four consecutive wins in all competitions

Manchester United - Watford preview: Reds looking to keep their momentum going
Picture source: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

Manchester United host a strong Watford side on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, looking to build on their momentum of three successive wins.

United go into the game with the Hornets sitting fifth in the Premier League, three points off local rivals Manchester City who have a game in hand in fourth place. Watford have had a stellar season thus far and sit in tenth place in Premier League, seven points off United in fifth knowing that a win at Old Trafford will close the gap.

It is crucial for United that they build on the fantastic 3-2 win over Arsenal on Sunday with a win against Quique Sánchez Flores' side if they have any chance of a top-four place. The United players have gained a lot of confidence after wins against Shrewsbury Town, FC Midtjylland and the Gunners in the last week so they should be up for this game as well. Watford head into the game with United having only lost one of their last five Premier League games - to a high-flying Tottenham Hotspur side - which shows how consistent they have been this term.

The title is pretty much gone this season for United, but there is still time to push for a top four place. They can't afford any more slip-ups in the run in and need as many wins as they can from the final eleven games.

Last time they met

The last time the two sides met at Old Trafford was back in 2007 when United ran out convincing winners 4-0 with goals from Cristiano RonaldoWayne RooneyHenrik Larsson as well as an own goal. The last time these two teams met was back in November when United came away with a 2-1 at Vicarage Road. The United goalscorers that day were Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger while Troy Deeney scored for Watford. 

Schweinsteiger celebrating United's late winner at Vicarage Road in November | Photo: Getty Images
Schweinsteiger celebrating Manchester United's late winner at Vicarage Road in November | Photo: Getty Images

Team news

Manchester United

Louis van Gaal revealed some good news in terms of injuries before the game with Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling set to be in the squad after injury. Van Gaal also revealed that Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia will be back soon as well after being out for a while. 

Luke Shaw (leg), Ashley Young (groin), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (knock), Wayne Rooney (knee), Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee) and Phil Jones still remain out injured. Marcus Rashford could be set to start his third game in a row with Martial not fully match fit yet. Rashford has so far scored four goals in the last two games and is really having a good time of it so far following his emergence from the youth ranks.

Watford

Watford will be without Jose Manuel Jurado with a calf injury whilst Joel Ekstrand will also miss the trip to Manchester. The rest of the squad are fit and healthy for the game with midfielder Etienne Capoue only being substituted at the weekend with tiredness.

Key men - The key men for United to look out for against Watford will be their strike duo of Odion Ighalo and Deeney. Ighalo has scored 14 league goals while Deeney has 8eight goals which shows that they are a very competent pair to contend with. The pair of them are very powerful and they are a big reason as to why Watford are doing so well this season and the United backline will have to be on top form to stop them.

Manchester United will host Watford at Old Trafford on Wednesday, March 2nd with kick-off at 8:00PM BST.