Watford vs Manchester United

Watford’s Miguel Britos (leg) will have a late fitness test with Sebastian Prodl in line to start as his replacement.

Captain Troy Deeney is available again following suspension.

Manchester United defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are on the road to recovery but may not be fit in time for Tuesday.

Did you know?

Manchester United are aiming to avoid losing three successive Premier League away matches for the first time since January 1996.

Following victories versus West Ham United and Newcastle United, Watford will be looking to win three successive PL matches for the first time since December 2015.

Jose Mourinho has won three of his four PL meetings with Watford (L1), his sides keeping three clean sheets in the process.

Richarlison has been directly involved in seven goals in his last eight PL appearances (four goals, three assists).

What the managers say

Marco Silva: “We did our work, we’ve analysed the Man Utd team. They are strong but we analyse some areas where we can achieve some important things.”

Marco Silva has sought to play down the fascinating Portuguese subplot involving him and Jose Mourinho tonight, insisting it will not distract him from the task of toppling the Europa League winners.

Silva and Mourinho have become good friends, particularly since Silva moved to England, and the Watford Head Coach revealed he spoke to the Manchester United manager before accepting the role at Vicarage Road last summer.

Yet Silva cites the League Cup win he achieved over Mourinho’s side at the KC Stadium earlier this year, and the goalless Premier League draw he masterminded at Old Trafford, as evidence that he is able to shelve his friendship with his countryman and focus on the tough job of getting a result against the Red Devils.

“We’ll chat before the match and after the match but when the game starts, it’s Watford versus Manchester United,” he said. “It’s a very good relationship. He’s a friend, he’s a very good person but he is my opponent.”


Jose Mourinho: “Watford have made progress. They have a squad full of very good players, they have a good coach and they improved a lot from last season.”

The Reds have named the same starting XI for our previous two domestic fixtures, the home wins over Newcastle United and Brighton, but a tricky game on the road against the impressive Hornets may prompt a change.

Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all back in the frame, of course, and Michael Carrick has revealed he is close to a return following a heart procedure. There could be a hope Eric Bailly is available soon with Phil Jones also on the road to recovery after aggravating an injury on international duty with England.

The boss may tighten things up after expressing some concern at the space allowed to Newcastle and Brighton, and commenting after the game: “It was difficult for Pobga and [Nemanja] Matic to press. Marcus [Rashford] and [Anthony] Martial, [are] without the tactical knowledge that another player has to close the spaces in between the full-back and winger so, even with Paul, we were a little bit in trouble.”

Pogba played the full 90 minutes on Saturday, even though Mourinho still thinks he is building his way up to full fitness, while the Hornets can call upon centre-forward Troy Deeney after he served a three-match ban. Younes Kaboul, Isaac Success, Nathaniel Chalobah and former Red Craig Cathcart have all been sidelined of late, but Kiko Feminia proved his fitness at Newcastle, in an impressive 3-0 win for Marco Silva’s men.

“Against Watford [last season], I was very upset with their first goal after someone put Martial in the hospital and the referee let it go,” said the manager. “That is the reason why I was very upset.

“I think Watford have made progress. I think they have a squad full of very good players, that are not normal to be a mid-table team. They have a good coach and they improved a lot from last season.”

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