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Preview : Manchester United vs Watford, FA Cup 3rd Round

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer

The Red Devils are up against last season’s relegated side, Watford in the 3rd round of the FA Cup tie. United sit 2nd in the Premier League table level with league leaders Liverpool with the same points but a game in hand. Should win their next match against Burnley, United will head top of the table. On the other hand, Watford sit 6th in the Championship table and 7 points away from the automatic promotion zone.

Since, United are out of the EFL Cup after losing to Man City in the semi final, United would surely be looking to get a win here to boost their confidence for the upcoming Premier League games. Watford have recently sacked their previous manager, Vladimir Ivic and now have appointed Xisco Munoz as their main man.

Team News

Manchester United

United are without long term absentee Phil Jones due to injury along with Marcos Rojo who is a doubt for the match. Edinson Cavani will also be unavailable due to his 3 match suspension.

Ole has confirmed in his pre match interview that Donny van de Beek will be given a chance to play following his lack of game time. Dan James, Juan Mata, Axel Tuanzebe are all expected to start for United. It will be interesting to see if United new boy Facundo Pellestri is given a role to play in this match.


The Hornets are without Domingos Quina, Isaac Success, Stipe Perica and Christian Kabasele who are out due to injury. United boy James Garner who is on loan at Watford will too be ineligible to start against his parent club.

Craig Cathcart, Troy Deeny, Ismaila Sarr and Andre Gray are all in contention to start for the match so there’s still a plenty of experience for United to worry about.

Match Facts

  • Manchester United have won three of their four FA Cup games against Watford.
  • Watford have lost their nine away games against Manchester United and are winless in their last 13 trip to Old Trafford since 1978.
  • The Hornets have lost six of their last seven meeting with United in all competitions but managed to record a 2-0 win over United at Vicarage Road in December, 2019.
Martial’s wonder chip against Watford

Thoughts On The Game

Manchester United are in a good run of form losing only once in their last 8 matches. However the Reds come up against Watford on the back of a 2-0 defeat against arch rivals Man City in the semi final of the Carabao Cup. United will look to get their winning form back with a win here over Watford which will take them to the next round of the FA Cup.

However, Watford will look to cause problems against United’s rather leaky defense. With a change in manager, it will be interesting to see how Watford will lineup against United’s pacey counter attacking side. The likes of Troy Deeney, Ismaila Sarr and Andre Gray will be key to Watford’s potential success.


Its surely not going to be the easiest of matches against a physical Watford. The match depends on the way Ole sets his team up. It’ll be exciting to see if he uses Pellestri and give Lingard a start. However, fans will be expecting United to see out this game with a sense of ease and assurance. Watford would surely look to take the game to United.

Being solid defensively would be important for United especially in set piece opportunities for Watford who are a physical side. Surely this is an opportunity for Ole to give the likes of Lingard, Donny and Ighalo a start.

Also Read : Positions Manchester United Need To Strengthen

What are your thoughts going into this game? How would you like United to line up against Watford? Do let us know your thoughts.

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