Preview: Watford vs. Manchester United

Preview: Watford vs. Manchester United

Manchester United will be bidding to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they make the trip to Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon to face Watford.

The Red Devils suffered a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City before the international break, while Watford, who are just outside the relegation zone in England’s top flight, lost 1-0 at Arsenal in their last contest.

Watford have won three, drawn one and lost seven of their 11 Premier League matches this season to collect 10 points, which has left them in 17th position in the table, two points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, and it would not be a surprise to see the club in and around the bottom three for much of the campaign.

The Hornets will enter Saturday’s contest off the back of successive 1-0 defeats to Southampton and Arsenal, but new head coach Claudio Ranieri managed to lead the team to a stunning 5-2 success at Everton in his second match at the helm on October 23.

Watford actually started their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a 3-2 home success over Aston Villa, but they have picked up just one point from their last four league fixtures at Vicarage Road, losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool and Southampton during a worrying run.

Ranieri’s side are now facing four difficult matches in quick succession, hosting Man United, Chelsea and Manchester City, in addition to visiting Leicester City before the end of the month.

The Hornets will certainly not be panicking, though, as there is still a lot of football to be played this season, and they ran out 2-0 winners when Man United last visited Vicarage Road in the league in December 2019.

Man United, meanwhile, suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Man City in their last match on November 6; the result increased the pressure on head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Norwegian has kept his job and will lead the team into Saturday’s contest at Vicarage Road.

The Red Devils are actually top of their Champions League group ahead of next week’s key clash away to Villarreal, but they have lost three of their last four in the Premier League and won just one of their last six to drop down the table into sixth position.

Man United are only five points off the top four and would ease the pressure on Solskjaer with a win this weekend, but the treble-winning striker will only ever be one bad result away from another full-blown crisis.

The 20-time English champions are entering a huge period in the league, taking on Chelsea and Arsenal in their two matches after this one, but they can take confidence from their impressive performance away to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of October, recording a 3-0 victory over the North London club.

Man United might have seen their long unbeaten away run in the league end at Leicester on October 16, but they have won three of their last four on the road in England’s top flight and will be fired up to bounce back from their derby defeat in Hertfordshire this weekend.

Watford Premier League form:
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Manchester United Premier League form:
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Manchester United form (all competitions):
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We say: Watford 1-2 Manchester United
Only a win will be good enough for Man United amid a poor run of form, and we are backing the 20-time English champions to triumph here. It is hard to predict a clean sheet for the Red Devils considering their struggles defensively, though, so we have tipped Watford to score in a narrow defeat to Solskjaer’s side.

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