How to follow Watford v United at Vicarage Road

Wednesday 17 November 2021 12:30

Manchester United return to action after the November international break with a visit to Watford's Vicarage Road.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will be bidding to return to winning ways following the disheartening derby defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford two weeks ago, and the hope is that the international interlude will have had a refreshing effect.
 
Watford have endured their own difficulties, too, with Claudio Ranieri replacing Xisco Munoz as manager last month, and the Hornets just a couple of points above the relegation zone heading into this round of fixtures.
 
The circumstances around both sides' campaigns mean Saturday's match is likely to be a tense and dramatic one, with three points absolutely vital to each club.
 
Want to know more? Here's all the essential info ahead of the game, including how you can follow the live action...
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME
 
The game kicks off at 15:00 GMT and will not be broadcast live in the UK. However, you can follow all the matchday build-up and post-match analysis, plus radio commentary of the game itself, on MUTV. The programme begins at 13:55 GMT. Live updates are also available on ManUtd.com and in our Official App. Highlights will be available via the App two hours after the full-time whistle, while extended highlights will follow on Sunday.
TEAM NEWS
 
Paul Pogba would have missed this game anyway, due to the red card and three-match ban he received during our defeat to Liverpool, but the midfielder is now in for a more prolonged lay-off due to a thigh injury picked up on international duty. Compatriot Raphael Varane is also expected to be absent, due to the hamstring problem he acquired in the 2-2 draw with Atalanta earlier this month. Other doubts include Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay, who withdrew from their countries' international camps due to concussion concerns and illness, respectively. Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford did not join up with their national squads either, so we'll await Ole's pre-match press conference for further news on the likelihood of their involvement at Vicarage Road.
 
Watford, meanwhile, could be without Turkish midfielder Ozan Tufan, who suffered a knee injury while away with his country. Ken Sema also pulled out of the Sweden squad due to a knee ligament issue, and a fractured ankle meant Kwadwo Baah missed out for Germany Under-19s. Peter Etebo is a long-term absentee and not expected to feature, while Christian Kabasele has been struggling with his hamstring. Another man who will definitely not be involved is on-loan midfielder Juraj Kucka, who was sent off during Watford's last game – a 1-0 reverse to Arsenal.
 
FORM GUIDE
 
It's been a tough time for the Reds, with the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur our only win in the last six Premier League games. Cristiano Ronaldo's dramatic late goal in Bergamo helped us earn a 2-2 Champions League draw at Atalanta in our penultimate game before the international break, but the 2-0 derby defeat to Manchester City has meant a difficult couple of weeks for all connected with the club. Those of a positive disposition would point out that Solskjaer's side are still within touching distance of the top-four spots, however. A few consecutive wins could quickly see us fly up the table and, in Watford, we face a side that has not yet kept a clean sheet in the league this season.
 
The Hornets have delivered a mixed bag of performances since Ranieri stepped in. Their first match was a harrowing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, but their second was a quietly remarkable 5-2 win away at Everton. Since then, however, they've been on the receiving end of two narrow 1-0 defeats, to Southampton and Arsenal, respectively.

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RECENT MEETINGS
 
Watford have lost every single one of their Premier League visits to Old Trafford, but they've grown into more difficult opponents for United on their own home turf. The Hertfordshire club have won two of the last four against us down south, with a 2-0 defeat in December 2019 the most recent fixture. Chris Smalling got the winner the last time we won here, in 2018, and there was a memorable 4-2 success back in 2017, where two Ashley Young scorchers and a mazy solo effort from Jesse Lingard did most of the damage. But away from Old Trafford, this match-up has become increasingly unpredictable during the last five years.
 
KEY STATS
 
There has not been a draw between these two clubs, in any competition, since May 1986. That's a run of 21 games – including 14 Premier League encounters. During that period Watford have won three times at Vicarage Road, while United have won every one of the other 18 meetings.
 
Scott McTominay will make his 100th Premier League appearance if he makes it on to the field at any stage. The midfielder captained United when we faced Watford in the FA Cup last season, and went on to score the only goal of the game and earn the Man of the Match award.
Video
Watch the goals from the 4-2 win at Watford in 2017.
MATCH OFFICIALS
 
Referee: Jon Moss
Assistants: Marc Perry, Timothy Wood
Fourth official: Dean Whitestone
VAR: David Coote
Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton

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RIVALS WATCH
 
SATURDAY 20 NOVEMBER
 
Leicester v Chelsea (12:30 GMT)
Aston Villa v Brighton
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Newcastle v Brentford
Norwich v Southampton
Watford v UNITED
Wolves v West Ham
Liverpool v Arsenal (17:30 GMT)
 
SUNDAY 21 NOVEMBER
 
Manchester City v Everton (14:00 GMT)
Tottenham v Leeds (16:30 GMT)
 
All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless stated.

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