A defiant Manchester United on the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions has seen them reignite their season in the hopes of finishing in the top four.
A crucial victory against title chasing Arsenal was a major boost after seeing a few disappointing performances which led to more pressure on Van Gaal. You could say United are gearing towards top four after cutting the gap from fifth place to fourth to three points with 11 games remaining. Now is the period to collect as many points and wins to end the final third of the season.
Considering the amount of injuries and players missing, 14 in total, Van Gaal has managed to earn victories in the Europa League as well as against a rival in the league. The outcome of the injuries has seen a fairly young and inexperienced team who have stepped up and taken their chances. In the midst of all of this happening, Memphis has come to his form which the club invested in, in the summer. His confidence is there by starting games and being able to have the freedom of showing his skills and ability to shoot. Even adding assists to his name. So the injuries have seen the manager benefit using players who have not been involved as much as they should of. Whether the pressure remains on the style of play and gaining wins still hangs over Van Gaal’s head as there is continued speculation of who will be in charge at Old Trafford next season.
Watford are competing at mid-table and look likely to stay up in the league as Sanchez Flores keeps the players level headed. They have been surprising to many with the style of play and not fearing anyone. He could potentially cause an upset tonight. It helps when you have strikers such as Ighalo and Deeney forming a partnership to keep defences on sight at all times especially Ighalo scoring 14 goals already this season.
Van Gaal has confirmed Martial and Darmian are ready to return and could feature against Watford. Smalling will be assessed after missing games through a shoulder injury. Rojo could be involved as could Borthwick-Jackson. Players are coming back so that will be another lift to have for selection. There are no concerns for Flores and may rename the same starting line-up.
It’s been a massive week for Rashford who scored a brace against Arsenal in his Premier League debut. He deserves the chance at the club and has taken it all with both hands. There is plenty of headlines written and a possible late call up to the England squad for the Euros which is a bit too soon. He needs to settle at United first and then look at getting regular games before jumping ahead of himself. Van Gaal has stated he needs to enjoy being young and give him the peace and rest he needs. Of course it was Van Gaal handing debuts to Fosu-Mensah and James Weir. Even Varela was a starter at right back and making the use of the youngsters available. There is no surprise to the fact United have used 33 players in this season’s Premier League, more than any other club.
Watford will not be push over’s and here is hoping the Old Trafford atmosphere will be geared up for another night of football.
Possible starting XI:
Man Utd; De Gea, Varela, Carrick, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Lingard, Mata, Memphis, Martial.
Watford; Gomes, Paredes, Cathcart, Britos, Ake, Amrabat, Capoue, Watson, Behrami, Ighalo, Deeney.