Watford v United: The essential info
Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday evening when travelling south to face an in-form Watford side.
The Reds head to Hertfordshire in search of a second successive away win, two weeks on from the encouraging 2-0 win at Burnley prior to the international break.
However, Jose Mourinho’s men are bound to face a stiff test against a Watford side who have won their first four league matches.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game at Vicarage Road…
WHAT’S THE TEAM NEWS?
The boss delivered some mixed news on the injury front when speaking to the media on Friday morning. Diogo Dalot and Marcos Rojo will play for the Under-23s against Reading on Friday night as the pair step up their recovery from injury, while Luke Shaw is available for the game after suffering concussion during England’s Nations League defeat by Spain last Saturday. Ander Herrera is doubtful with an ankle injury and there’s also a question mark over Marouane Fellaini, who picked up a minor back problem that ruled him out of Belgium’s two recent games. However, the Reds will definitely be without Marcus Rashford, who will begin a three-match suspension following his red card at Burnley.
HOW ABOUT WATFORD?
The Hornets are only set to be without two injured players – former United midfielder Tom Cleverley and ex-Everton forward Gerard Deulofeu – with boss Javi Gracia confirming to the media on Thursday that
“all the players are good” and
“the rest are available”. In addition to Cleverley, Watford have two other former Reds in their ranks - goalkeeper Ben Foster and defender Craig Cathcart, who scored the winning goal in their impressive 2-1 victory over Tottenham last time out.
HOW HAVE WATFORD STARTED THE SEASON?
The Hornets go into Saturday’s game on the back of their best-ever start to a Premier League season. Heading into the weekend, they are one of only three teams – along with Liverpool and Chelsea – to have won their opening four league games of the campaign. Watford opened 2018/19 with a 2-0 win over Brighton at Vicarage Road before beating Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor and earning 2-1 wins at home to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur. They also saw off Championship side Reading 2-0 to set up a Carabao Cup third-round tie against Spurs at Wembley later this month. Their perfect start to the campaign also led to manager Gracia being named the Premier League’s Manager of the Month for August.
WHAT’S OUR OVERALL RECORD AGAINST WATFORD LIKE?
Historically, the Reds have a formidable record against the Hornets over the years, registering 20 wins and five draws from the 30 previous encounters between the teams in all competitions. United also boast a strong record at Vicarage Road, winning nine and drawing two of our 15 previous visits to Watford’s home. Mourinho’s men completed a league double over the Hertfordshire outfit last term, winning 4-2 in a thrilling game at Vicarage Road last November before Rashford’s goal gave Michael Carrick a victory to savour at Old Trafford in his last game as a United player on the final day of the season. You can watch the goals from both meetings below.
Goals: Watford 2 United 4Video
When we beat Watford last seasonVideo
WHO’S THE REFEREE?
Mike Dean will be the man in the middle on Saturday, taking charge of his third Premier League game of the season. The experienced official oversaw three United matches last term – our 4-0 home win over Crystal Palace and 1-0 victory away at Burnley in the league, as well as the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at Bristol City. He will be assisted by Darren Cann and Dan Robathan, with Paul Tierney appointed as the fourth official.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RESULT WILL BE?
Get involved by predicting the outcome of Saturday's game. Win exclusive prizes throughout the season by playing the Match Predictor.
WHO ARE OUR RIVALS PLAYING THIS WEEKEND?
The Premier League returns with a full fixture list stretched across three days, from Saturday to Monday. Here’s what the schedule looks like…
Saturday 15 September
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (12:30 BST)
Bournemouth v Leicester City
Chelsea v Cardiff City
Huddersfield Town v Crystal Palace
Manchester City v Fulham
Newcastle United v Arsenal
Watford v Manchester United (17:30 BST)
Sunday 16 September
Wolves v Burnley (13:30 BST)
Everton v West Ham United (16:00 BST)
Monday 17 September
Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion (20:00 BST)
Matches kick off at 15:00 BST unless stated.
Additional reporting by Armin Hadzic.