Manchester United will travel to Watford this weekend under a bit of a cloud. The disappointment felt after last Saturday’s derby defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City was keenly felt by plenty of the club’s fanbase, and that wasn’t helped by Thursday night’s dismal 1-0 Europa League defeat to Feyenoord.
Whilst Jose Mourinho has conducted some vital work since he took over in May, there are still some key issues hanging over from the Louis van Gaal era that need addressing, such as playing slowly and a lack of creativity.
Sunday’s game against Watford at Vicarage Road may not be the perfect chance to regain some confidence, given that the Hornets smashed four goals in a comeback victory over West Ham United last Saturday, but United need to shake themselves from his early season funk as soon as possible. With that in mind, here’s who we think Mourinho will choose to start the game:
No changes in goal, of course. In reality, David De Gea had little to do in Holland on Thursday bar picking the ball out of his net. Sergio Romero, United’s deputy shotstopper will likely get a run-out on Tuesday night against Northampton Town, regardless.
In defence, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia will go straight back into the side against Watford having been left out of the squad that flew to Rotterdam. Eric Bailly should retain his place, but Daley Blind, left out of the matchday squad on Thursday might make way for Chris Smalling. With Watford’s strength and physicality up front in the forms of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, the England international may be a better bet than Blind in the centre of defence.
Ander Herrera’s performance in the second half against City, described as ‘phenomenal’ by Mourinho, should be enough to earn him a spot in midfield alongside Paul Pogba, which should in turn give United more licence to attack from deep.
Further forward, Anthony Martial should start ahead of Jesse Lingard on the left, particularly after the English winger’s dismal display against City, and Marcus Rashford should start ahead of Juan Mata, given the injury to Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
No surprises up front; Wayne Rooney will certainly come back into the side having missed out against Feyenoord, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return to his starring role up front.
What do you think of our selection? Do you agree with it? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!