Gerard Deulofeu

Watford v United preview: Opposition info

Manchester United travel to Hertfordshire on Sunday to take on Watford in the Premier League.

So far, it’s been a tough campaign for the Hornets, who are currently bottom of the table. However there are signs of optimism at Vicarage Road after they picked up a point against Crystal Palace and then produced a spirited display against Liverpool last week.

Ahead of Sunday’s match, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Watford...
Chris Smalling scores for Manchester United against Watford in 2018/19.
Relive the best bits from last year's 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets have a host of injury concerns heading into this one, including two former Reds in Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck. Neither have featured for Watford since October and they are joined on the sidelines by Sebastian Prodl, Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat. However, Roberto Pereyra and Adam Masina should be fit for United’s visit.

After making it to the FA Cup final last year, hopes were high among the Watford faithful at the beginning of the 2019/20 season, but it’s proved to be something of a nightmare campaign for the Hornets. From their opening 17 league match this year, Watford have picked up three points just once and have failed to win any of their eight home matches to date. The league’s bottom side have also lost four of their last five matches and are currently six points from safety.

In the Premier League era, we’ve played Watford 12 times and have won 11 of those previous encounters, losing just once. In all competitions, the teams have met on 32 occasion with United emerging victorious 22 times, while Watford have won five and drawn five of those games. In recent times, United have enjoyed the upper hand in our clashes with the Hornets - we’ve won the last five in a row and have been victorious in 16 of the last 17 meetings in all competitions, against Sunday’s opponents. There also hasn’t been a draw between the sides since 1986 - that’s 18 consecutive matches where the spoils haven’t been shared!
Wayne Rooney playing for Manchester United against Watford in 2007.
The Reds eliminated Watford in the 2007 FA Cup semi-final.

Nigel Pearson is set to oversee his first home game as manager on Sunday, after he replaced Quique Sanchez Flores earlier this month. The Spaniard himself was only appointed during the season, following the departure of Javi Gracia. Pearson is an extremely experienced manager, having previously taken charge of Southampton, Leicester City, Hull City and Derby County. It is with the Foxes where the Nottingham-born boss is most remembered. Having guided the Midlands club to promotion from the Championship in 2014, Pearson helped keep Leicester in the Premier League the following year and, of course, laid the foundations for the remarkable title victory in 2015/16, then under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri.
Nigel Pearson during Watford's 2-0 defeat at Anfield.
Nigel Pearson took charge of his first Watford game last week - a 2-0 defeat at Anfield.

With two goals and two assists to his name this year, Gerard Deulofeu could be Watford’s one-to-watch this weekend. The former Barcelona man hasn’t missed a Premier League game this season, and his trickery and speed make him a real handful for defenders. The 25-year-old scored and set one up in the Hornets’s only victory this season and can operate through the middle, or in the wide areas.

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