Goals may be in short supply at Vicarage Road this Saturday lunchtime as two low-scoring but defensively strong teams meet to kick off the weekend’s action.
Watford are hoping to avoid what would be their first back-to-back defeats of this Premier League season after a 2-1 defeat at Leicester before the international break; Heurelho Gomes will continue in goal despite his blunder at the King Power Stadium.
The hosts have never beaten Manchester United in their four Premier League meetings to date, and will need to improve their firepower to do so; they have scored less than a goal a game so far this campaign and only found the net three times in front of their own fans.
United sit in fourth – three points clear of Tottenham – and despite grumblings about their style of play they have the best defensive record in the league, shutting out the opposition in five of their past six matches.
Like their hosts this weekend, the visitors need to sharpen up in front of goal. They have gone goalless in three of their last five fixtures and their top scorer – midfielder Juan Mata – has just four goals to his name.
Watford will assess the fitness of Odion Ighalo after the Nigerian striker returned late from international duty – the frontman has scored seven of Watford’s 11 goals this season. However, Sebastian Prodl and Joel Ekstrand will miss the match through injury.
United’s frontline will have to cope without Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial due to illness and injury respectively – this may open up opportunities for youngster James Wilson or expensive summer signing Memphis Depay, who has so far failed to shine since his move from PSV.
Matteo Darmian is available after suspension, whilst Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia sit out.
League Position: Watford – 11th (16 pts); Man United – 12th (24 pts)
Last Meeting: Watford 1-4 Man United (April 14, 2007)
Key Players: Watford – Troy Deeney; Man United – Juan Mata
Form: Watford – LDLWWL; Man United – WLWDDW
Shoot Says: Watford 0-1 Man United