By 90Min
September 14, 2018

Manchester United return to Premier League action following the international break with a trip to surprise package Watford, who are fresh off the heels of a 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

Javi Gracia's side have won all four of their opening league games, sitting below Liverpool and Chelsea on goal difference, while United have made a more inauspicious start.

OLLY GREENWOOD/GettyImages

With defeats to Brighton and Spurs in their first quartet of matches, the Red Devils need a victory at Vicarage Road in Saturday's late kick off.

Here's everything you need to know in preparation for one of the weekend's stand out fixtures.


Classic Encounter

The Hornets have never secured a league victory at Old Trafford but have a slightly more favourable record at home with their last win coming in a 3-1 success in September 2016.

Image by Scott Saunders

Etienne Capoue's well placed finish fired the hosts in front, only for Marcus Rashford to net a scrappy effort in the second half.


However, Watford kept the score tied until the 83rd minute, as Juan Zuniga beat David de Gea with a curled shot before Troy Deeney sealed the result with a smashed penalty in stoppage time after a Marouane Fellaini foul.

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Key Battle

Roberto Pereyra vs Paul Pogba

Former Juventus midfielder Pereyra has been one of Watford's most important players so far this campaign, netting three goals, and is the biggest creative threat posed by Gracia's side.

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He'll likely come face to face with Paul Pogba, who returns to Jose Mourinho's set-up following another couple of influential displays for France, and it promises to be a fascinating encounter between the two former Bianconeri teammates.


If Pogba uses his superior athleticism and pulls the strings in the middle of the park, expect United to pick up another vital win. If not, Pereyra and Watford may be smiling yet again.


Team News


Gracia's only injury concerns are Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu and Miguel Britos, but few changes from the team that came from behind to beat Tottenham are expected.


The visitors' problems are a little more extensive, with Marcus Rashford beginning a three-match suspension following his red card at Burnley.

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Luke Shaw suffered concussion on England duty and is unlikely to be risked, with Ashley Young expected to deputise, while Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Sergio Romero are other injury concerns for Mourinho.


Potential Starting Lineups


Watford: Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Pereyra; Deeney, Gray.


Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Pogba, Fellaini, Matic; Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez.

Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Prediction


With Watford looking like stern opposition early in the season, this will be anything but a walk in the park for United.

Mourinho's side have had their problems, with creative outlets Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez failing to fire so far, but they should have enough to come through relatively unscathed.

Prediction: Watford 1-2 Manchester United

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