No rest this week for Manchester United as they host Watford on Sunday and this is match has greater significance because Tottenham have dropped points.
The line-up for the Europa League match this past Thursday was designed to give players a rest for this match with much of the United firepower on the bench until late in the match. It appears that the United midfield will be bolstered by the probable return of Scott McTominay.
When asked about McTominay’s return, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said (via The Sun): “Scott had a rest day today, so let’s see how he is tomorrow.
“I’m not surprised [he’s back so soon] because that’s the type he is. He’s a physical specimen, he’s a leader.
“He never shirks a tackle and he brings everyone with him. He can sit with Nemanja [Matic] and Fred or he could be one of the runners in midfield.”
With McTominay back, the midfield situation looks pretty strong with the possible line-up of Fernandes, Fred, and the Scotland international.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka should return to the XI after he was an unused sub in Belgium and will be matched up with Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and either Luke Shaw or Brandon Williams in defence.
On Thursday, Anthony Martial was the front man but Sunday could be the first United start for newly acquired striker Odion Ighalo who might have a little even more motivation to score considering he played for Watford before he left for China.
Mason Greenwood is rumored to be sick, so he might not be fit enough for Sunday. On his striker situation, Solskjaer said: “Odion is getting more and more minutes, but [whether he starts] depends on Mason as well of course, and how Anthony [Martial] is [after playing on Thursday].”
If Ighalo does start, the logical move would be to move Martial to the wing with Danial James who was an unused sub on Thursday.
Watford will be looking for any points they can get from here on out after dropping to the relegation zone again. United haven’t really matched up well with them and the 2-0 loss at Watford in December still stings considering how vital those three points could have been in our bid for top four.
United have won all six of their Premier League games against Watford at Old Trafford, scoring 14 goals and conceding just two, but Watford who are boosted by the return of Kiko Femenía and Ismaïla Sarr.
Troy Deeney will again lead the line with support from Abdoulaye Doucoure, with former United attacker Danny Welbeck expected to provide an option from the bench.
United possible starting lineup:
DeGea, Shaw, Maguire, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred, Fernandes, Martial, James, Ighalo.
Editor’s scoreline prediction
Manchester United 2-0 Watford