Date: 9th January 2021 at 4:37pm
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Manchester United take on Watford in the FA Cup third round at Old Trafford with the aim of bouncing back from their midweek League Cup semi-final defeat against rivals Manchester City.

The loss against Pep Guardiola’s side ended the Red Devils’ 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will now hope his side can start another impressive run, as he aims to win the club’s first trophy since 2017.

United’s 2-0 defeat against City was their first loss in 11.

United, who last won this competition in 2016, reached the semi-finals last season before losing to beaten finalists Chelsea.

However, with the chance to go top of the Premier League at Burnley on Tuesday coming five days before a huge clash against Liverpool, Solskjaer may see this as an opportunity to rest some key stars.

So which players will the Norwegian boss select to try and see of Championship opposition and reach the fourth round..?

Here we predict the Manchester United starting XI to take on Watford…

Goalkeeper:

First-choice stopper David De Gea missed out in the defeat to City with Dean Henderson, who had played in the previous three EFL Cup rounds, keeping his place. Despite the defeat, the Englishman looked assured in goal and – as Solskjaer’s ‘cup ‘keeper’ – should keep his spot on Saturday night.

Defenders:

Victor Lindelof returned to the XI at the expense of Eric Bailly so we’re expecting the Ivorian to start this one at the back. Harry Maguire could be rested after his efforts in recent months, meaning Axel Tuanzebe has a chance to partner Bailly at centre-back. There are also set to be changes in the full-back positions with Brandon Williams and Alex Telles set to line-up to give Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw a breather.

Midfielders:

It’s been a tough time for Donny van de Beek since his big move from Ajax. The form of other players in his position has meant he’s had to mainly settle for substitute appearances. The FA Cup could present a chance for the Dutchman to showcase his talent and he’s expected to start in the midfield alongside Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata. This means Bruno Fernandes is set to finally be given a rest after his exploits so far this term.

Forwards:

Odion Ighalo made a real impact for United in last season’s FA Cup, and the striker, who will return to Shanghai Shenhua later this month, is set to start his third match of the season against his former club. On the right hand side, Mason Greenwood could get the nod over Dan James after both had to settle for a place on the bench against City. Meanwhile, on the left, Jesse Lingard could come in for just his third appearance of the season.

Predicted Manchester United XI vs Watford: Henderson; Williams, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Telles; Matic, Van de Beek, Mata; Greenwood, Lingard, Ighalo. 

 
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