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Watford have won three, drawn one and lost seven of their 11 Premier League matches this season to collect 10 points, which has left them in 17th position in the table, two points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, and it would not be a surprise to see the club in and around the bottom three for much of the campaign.
The Hornets will enter Saturday’s contest off the back of successive 1-0 defeats to Southampton and Arsenal, but new head coach Claudio Ranieri managed to lead the team to a stunning 5-2 success at Everton in his second match at the helm on October 23.
Watford actually started their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a 3-2 home success over Aston Villa, but they have picked up just one point from their last four league fixtures at Vicarage Road, losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool and Southampton during a worrying run.
Ranieri’s side are now facing four difficult matches in quick succession, hosting Man United, Chelsea and Manchester City, in addition to visiting Leicester City before the end of the month.
The Hornets will certainly not be panicking, though, as there is still a lot of football to be played this season, and they ran out 2-0 winners when Man United last visited Vicarage Road in the league in December 2019.
Watford boss Ranieri said during Thursday’s press conference that Ozan Tufan will need to be assessed, having picked up a knock while away with Turkey on international duty.
Francisco Sierralta is definitely out with the hamstring problem that he suffered during his time with Chile, while Christian Kabasele, Ken Sema, Kwadwo Baah and Peter Etebo are still on the treatment table.
The Hornets will also be missing Juraj Kucka through suspension, meaning that former Man United midfielder Tom Cleverley should come into the side, while there might also be a spot for Joao Pedro, with the Brazilian potentially operating behind another former Red Devils player in Joshua King.
As for Man United, Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani will definitely miss the contest through injury, while Paul Pogba, who would have missed this game regardless through suspension, is recovering from a thigh issue in Dubai.
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Scott McTominay has recovered from the illness that forced him to leave the Scotland camp, though, and Luke Shaw is also expected to be cleared to play despite missing England’s recent World Cup qualifiers with the head injury that he suffered against Man City.
Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood could provide the support to Cristiano Ronaldo, with Solskjaer unlikely to stick with a 3-5-2 formation for this match.
Jadon Sancho, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek are all pushing to be involved from the start but might have to accept positions on the bench once again.