Rock-bottom Watford are the only side in the Premier League yet to spend a single minute leading in front of their own fans this season, and that is very unlikely to happen here when Manchester United come to town.
Premier League 2019/2020
Date: Sunday, 22nd December
Kick-off: 15:00 UK time
Venue: Vicarage Road
TV Channel: Sky Sports
Watford went down 2-0 to Liverpool last weekend on Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge, though they were guilty of some lax finishing and might have given the Reds a real scare had they taken their chances.
Mohammed Salah scored either side of halftime in that loss, so it is important the Hornets find a way of keeping out their opponents until at least after the break. They have thus, picked up just a solitary point from their last five league games and failed to score in four of those fixtures and are not expected to pull up trees with the visit of an in-form Manchester United side.
With United seemingly on the right track having garnered seven points from their last three league games, there is a feeling Watford will have to wait much longer before they pick up their second win of the season.
The Red Devils earned themselves a semifinal League Cup spot after they put three past Oxford United in midweek and are odds-on to claim another win here. Manchester United’s only defeat in their last ten matches had been in an Europa League game versus Astana, when Ole Gunnar Solksjaer fielded most of the club’s reserves.
Should the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James prove to be in the mood on Sunday, then Watford’s run of losing all of their last five games against United could stretch even further.
José Holebas, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Sebastian Prödl and Daryl Janmaat will play no part for Pearson here.
The duo of Roberto Pereyra and Adam Masina are rated doubtful.
Paul Pogba is still out for the Red Devils, and Solksjaer will most likely name an unchanged XI from the Everton draw.
Head to head
There had been 32 previous meetings between these two sides in their head-to-head history, with Manchester United enjoying a quite significant haul of 22 wins to Watford’s five.
Five games had ended as stalemates but none in the most recent 18.
Watford have failed to win 20 of their last 21 league games.
Manchester United have been winning at both half time and full time in eight of their last ten games against Watford in all competitions.
Watford have seen over 2.5 goals in their last eight home games against Manchester United in all competitions.
It will be really difficult for Watford to beat the drop this season, unless their is a significant turnaround in fortunes, of course which should start here. Watford’s last five games in all competitions(LLLDL)
Unbeaten in their last six league games, United are swiftly pushing to get in the European football qualification spots and another win here will do their ambitions a lot of good. Manchester United’s last five games in all competitions (WWWDW)
This clash is expected to produce a routine victory for Manchester United, as they will not want to throw away points in games like this, with teams like Tottenham and Sheffield United picking up important results in recent weeks, and with Chelsea still high up the standings. That said, the Red Devils to be winning at both half time/full time has an appeal at 19/10. The quicker Solksjaer’s side get off the blocks and get at their opponents, the more straightforward the victory will be.
One might also be tempted to pick a correct score result from the clash, and a 3-0 win for the visitors at 15/1 catches the eye. Watford have failed to score in each of their last three league games and are not expected to be a lot of trouble in the attacking front for United’s defence.
Martial, Rashford and even Mason Greenwood are all prized short to score anytime, but Rashford who is the designated penalty taker to score the last goal at 7/2 is another option on the goal scorers markets.