Match Preview: Watford vs Manchester United

17/09/2016 10:52

Watford's start to the season doesn't get any easier this weekend with Jose Mourinho's Manchester United visiting Vicarage Road on Sunday, in a match which will be televised on BT Sport.

The Hornets enter this week's fixture on a high, having pulled off one of the shocks of the weekend against West Ham last Saturday. Walter Mazzarri's men stunningly fought back from 2-0 down to secure a 4-2 victory at the Olympic Stadium and the margin could and should have been more.

That result sealed Watford's first victory of the season and will build some much needed confidence ahead of this weekend's game.

Manchester United come into the match off the back of their first two defeats under Jose Mourinho, having lost to arch rivals Manchester City last Saturday and to Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday night.

That result left United in fourth place in the Premier League while Watford's win moved them up to 10th spot.

Both matches between the two sides were incredibly close last season and Watford may well have been disappointed that they didn't nick some points off of the Red Devils.

In the match at Vicarage Road last November it took a late own goal from Troy Deeney to hand the Red Devils all three points, in what was a bitter pill to swallow for Watford fans, as the Hornets' second half performance deserved at least a point. Memphis Depay had put Manchester United in front in the first half before Troy Deeney equalised from the penalty spot with five minutes to play, but the captain's cruel own goal in injury time condemned Watford to defeat.

In the return fixture at Old Trafford in March, the Hornets squandered a number of presentable opportunities and the Golden Boys were made to pay for their missed chances, as Juan Mata's late free kick sealed the points for Louis Van Gaal's side.

The aforementioned 'Special One' Jose Mourinho is the new manager up at Old Trafford and it's fair to say the Portuguese man needs little introduction.

Mourinho took over the managerial reigns in the summer after United decided to sack Louis Van Gaal at the end of the 2015/16 season.

He will be tasked with guiding United back to their former glory and Mourinho has got a point to prove having been sacked by Chelsea in December 2015 following the Blues' calamitous start to their title defence.

The Portuguese manager certainly hasn't been messing around over the summer, smashing the transfer record to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus, while also persuading Zlatan Ibrahimovic to put pen-to-paper on a one-year-contract at Old Trafford. Mourinho also managed to secure the signings of Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan as well.

The Red Devils started the season positively, winning each of their first three games, but they've hit a blip this week, having lost to Manchester City and Feyenoord, so they will surely want to get back on track at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Sunday's game in front of the BT Sport camera's will undoubtedly be a tough test for the Golden Boys.

Manchester United are a top quality side and their squad contains some of the best players in the country. They can compete with the top teams in the world on their day.

Watford will certainly enter the game with plenty of confidence, but they will have to build on last weekend's performance if they want to give themselves a chance of taking some points off of the Red Devils.

If they can tighten up at the back and replicate the attacking flair which they displayed against West Ham, then Walter Mazzarri's men certainly have a chance.

Come on Watford!

Team News

For Watford, striker Stefano Okaka will be on the side-linesfor a few weeks after he injured his hamstring in the 4-2 win over West Ham last week. Defenders Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl are doubts and they will undergo late fitness tests. Nordin Amrabat is fit enough to feature while Brice Dja Djejde is still out.

For Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw will be back in the squad having been left out of the Red Devils' Europa League squad to face Feyenoord on Thursday. Defender Eric Bailly will be assessed while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is struggling with a thigh problem.

Predicted team-line-ups

Watford - Gomes (GK), Cathcart, Kaboul, Britos, Janmaat, Behrami, Capoue, Pereyra, Holebas, Deeney ©, Ighalo.

Manchester United - De Gea (GK), Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Pogba, Herrera, Mata, Rooney, ©, Martial, Ibrahmovic.

Referee - Michael Oliver