Ralf Rangnick has been quietly consolidating Man Utd’s place in the top four of the Premier League, and he will look to strengthen the club’s grip on the coveted Champions League places when Roy Hodgson’s struggling Watford travel to Old Trafford this weekend aiming to bolster their survival hopes.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games, which is currently the best streak in the top flight, underlining the somewhat under-appreciated work the club’s current interim boss has been producing since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stepped down after that 4-1 reversal to Watford.
Should the Hornets secure victory here then they will become the first club since Bolton in 1950/51 to complete a league double over Man Utd with different managers in a single season (Walter Rowley and Bill Ridding enjoying those wins), with Claudio Ranieri plunging the final nail in the coffin of Solskjaer’s reign back in autumn.
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Man Utd vs Watford: Match Stats
To say that Man Utd are slow starters would be a huge understatement; 65% of their Premier League goals have come in the second half this season (29 from 44), with only 15 coming in the first 45 minutes, so this could well be a contest decided after the break once Rangnick has delivered his own version of ‘the hairdryer’.
Bruno Fernandes meanwhile will be looking to get on the scoresheet and boost his stellar Premier League record. The Portuguese has been involved in seven goals in his last seven Premier League appearances (four goals, three assists), and has hit the third-most shots from outside the box of any player in the division this term (31), so expect him to be uncorking a few from long range this Saturday.
20 Nov 2021 – Watford 4-1 Man Utd – Premier League
09 Jan 2021 – Man Utd 1-0 Watford – FA Cup
23 Feb 2020 – Man Utd 3-0 Watford – Premier League
22 Dec 2019 – Watford 2-0 Man Utd – Premier League
30 Mar 2019 – Man Utd 2-1 Watford – Premier League
That 4-1 win will go down in football folklore as the straw that broke the camel’s back for Man Utd’s hierarchy and saw OGS sent packing. Josh King, Ismaila Sarr, Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis got the goals to sink the Red Devils.