Manchester United Potential XI vs Watford

Credit: Lineup Builder
Credit: Lineup Builder /

Red Devils will host the Hornets in a midweek Premier League clash

Manchester United head into their match-up with Watford in fine form, coming off three consecutive victories across all competitions.

The recent mixture of youth and senior players has worked spectacularly for Louis van Gaal. Reserves players like Marcus Rashford and Guillermo Varela have been brilliant, while senior squad members Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin, among others, have rediscovered their form.

In Manchester United’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford, Rashford scored twice and Timothy Fosu-Mensah played well in their Premier League debuts. Marcos Rojo was withdrawn from the match after picking up a knock, clouding his status for the game against the Hornets.

Many of the first team players are on the fringe of being ready for Wednesday’s match, so the manager will have to decide who is fit enough to play.

In goal, David de Gea has resumed his usual position between the sticks. The Spaniard made several vital saves en route to his side securing the three points against the Gunners, including a kick save in a one on one with Nacho Monreal. After missing three games with a knee problem, de Gea is set to anchor the United defense for the rest of the season.

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Ahead of the keeper, the defense poses quite a few question marks, particularly at left-back. With Rojo dealing with his own knock, the severity of which is unknown, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson still sidelined, Fosu-Mensah could make his full debut for the Red Devils. The highly touted academy product performed tremendously in the Arsenal match in relief of Rojo, making him the next option for van Gaal.

In the center of defense, Chris Smalling will hopefully make his return to the team. He had a chance of playing in the last match but was ultimately kept off the team sheet. In his absence, Michael Carrick struggled mightily alongside Daley Blind. The Dutch-English pairing at the center of defense should resume against Watford, much to the delight of supporters.

At right-back, Guillermo Varela is certain to continue his impressive debut season with Manchester United. The Uruguayan defender has been superb in his appearances, arguably the best of the academy players who’ve made debuts this season.

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In midfield, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera have shown improvement as a protective line for the defense. The Spanish international has been able to distribute into attack, while Schneiderlin has been near-perfect defensively. Carrick could be a threat to the pairing if he is relieved of his center-back duties, but it’s unlikely the manager will tamper with what has been working.

Memphis, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard will undoubtedly retain their attacking midfield positions. The Dutch winger has been spectacular since the first Midtjylland tie, when he received an opportunity with Anthony Martial playing at striker. With him, Mata and Lingard have continued their fine form this calendar year.

At striker, it is unclear if Martial will be able to return from the hamstring ailment that kept him out of the Europa League second leg. His replacement, Rashford, however, has taken the role in stride – scoring four goals in his first two matches for the senior team. Van Gaal could potentially rest the 18-year-old by playing Adnan Januzaj as the lone striker instead, but the opportunity for three points against 10th place Watford will likely keep Rashford in the team.

Credit: Lineup Builder
Credit: Lineup Builder /
Credit: Lineup Builder
Credit: Lineup Builder /

Next: Schneiderlin focused on Watford match

With the mixture of pace, creativity, and clinical finishing back in the Manchester United squad, the defense could go a long way in deciding the winner of Wednesday’s match.