Football Previews

Man Utd vs Watford predicted XIs: Team news as Rangnick hints at ditching Lindelof RB experiment after Atleti gaffe

By Ben Green

Published: 17:55, 24 February 2022

Manchester United will look to continue their unbeaten run in the Premier League when they welcome relegation-threatened Watford to Old Trafford on Saturday at 3pm (UK time).

The Red Devils are on a tear of seven matches without defeat in the Premier League, the best current unbeaten run in the division of any side, underpinning the quietly-impressive work Ralf Rangnick has been producing at Old Trafford, if the performances haven’t always been convincing.

This showdown marks the return fixture of a match that will live long in the memory of Premier League fans, after the Hornets executed a 4-1 win over Man Utd to the spell the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, though the mastermind behind that victory, Claudio Ranieri, has since been replaced by Roy Hodgson.

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Man Utd team news vs Watford: Rangnick to ditch Lindelof at right-back?

Scott McTominay remains a slight doubt after missing the midweek journey to Atletico Madrid, so Fred and Paul Pogba are likely to stay put in a double midfield pivot, while Edinson Cavani is Rangnick’s only other major injury concern, with the veteran forward still recovering from a groin strain.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka may come in for Victor Lindelof at right-back after Rangnick admitted his tactical manoeuvre to deploy the Swede as a No. 2 in an effort to bring a greater aerial presence backfired, with Joao Felix sticking one in the back of the net from a header after only seven minutes at the Metropolitano.

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“Well, I thought we could do with him for aerial duels, set pieces, free kicks, for us and against us and I think all three central defenders were in good shape,” Rangnick explained about his decision to play Lindelof at right-back after the game.

“I also thought we could do with three central defenders in that game, defensively but also after seven minutes being one-nil down, the plan [changed].

“Of course, I knew it was not his best possible position and I think we could see that in the last half-hour when we had Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] on the pitch and Alex [Telles], we had more possession of the ball. We had more offensive actions, we had more assists from the wings, and more options from the wings.”

Predicted Man Utd XI vs Watford:

  • De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo. (4-2-3-1)

Watford team news vs Man Utd: Josh King set to miss Old Trafford return

Joshua King was forced off in the 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace and is expected to miss this showdown against his former club, joining Nicolas Nkoulou, Peter Etebo and Juraj Kucka on the sidelines. Joao Pedro faces a late fitness test to feature here.

Predicted Watford XI vs Man Utd:

  • Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara; Kayembe, Louza, Sissoko; Sarr, Dannis, Hernandez. (4-3-3)



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