Tuesday 1 March 2016

Match preview: United v Watford (Wednesday)

United manager Louis van Gaal finally delivered some positive injury news ahead of the visit of Watford on Wednesday as the Reds chase a fourth consecutive victory. 

This is the Reds' fourth outing is just nine days and Van Gaal may be tempted to tinker with his team provided he has enough personnel to do so. 

LVG  revealed that hamstrung forward Anthony Martial is in line for a return with defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling also in contention to face the Hornets.
The hosts still have a lengthy casualty list, however, as Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio Valencia and Will Keane are all expected to miss out. 

The visitors have a virtually full fit squad to pick from, with the exception of defender Joel Ekstrand and midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado. 

The news will come as a further boost to a United squad suddenly high on confidence following two cup victories before the stirring win over Arsenal that breathed new life into a faltering campaign on Sunday. 

"Players are coming back and our results have been good so it is all positive.
"We need players who are coming back because our programme is very full, we do not have a big selection so it's difficult, I cannot rotate too much and we have to recover within two days for the second time.
"My players are very focused and are very professional so I hope that we can continue.
"Martial can play, Darmian can play and maybe Chris Smalling but we have to see for tomorrow- we have to build players back up also as you saw with Marcos Rojo." said Van Gaal in his press conference. 

Along with Leicester's stunning title challenge, Watford- promoted last term despite having four different managers- have been the season's surprise package.
Widely tipped to struggle, Quique Sanchez Flores' Hornets instead sit comfortably in tenth position on 37 points and look all but safe, thanks in no small part to 15-goal top scorer Odion Ighalo. 

The powerhouse Nigerian has formed a prolific partnership with Troy Deeney at the spearhead of the Hertfordshire Hornets attack-minded 4-4-2 formation that has proved so effective this term. 

Deeney scored at both ends in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road in November as the Reds snatched a dramatic late 2-1 win which took us to the top of the league- albeit briefly. 

Form guide: United D L L W W W Watford W D L W W D
Match odds: United 13/8 Draw 11/4 Watford 5/1

Referee: Mike Jones is the man of the middle for this one 

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