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Prediction: Watford vs Manchester United


Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

After producing an amazing comeback to defeat West Ham 4-2 in London, Watford will be hoping to claim another major scalp when they play host to wounded Manchester United at Vicarage Road. The Red Devils have now suffered back to back defeats to Man City and Feyenoord, and they are in desperate need of a morale-boosting triumph.

Watford

Watford were one of the surprise packages in the previous edition of the Premier League, achieving a mid table finish and also reaching the FA Cup semi-final, but the club chiefs found themselves in problems when manager Quique Sanchez Flores decided to leave at the end of the season. Former Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri was brought to replace him, whereas the playing squad was further reinforced in the summer transfer window. While there were no notable departures, the Hornets recruited the likes of Kabasele, Sinclair, Zuniga, Dja Djedje, Kaboul, Pereyra, Janmaat, Okaka, Kums, Mariappa and Kennedy, which was clearly a sign of ambition to push for a top table finish. With so many new players arriving in the summer and Mazzarri changing the style of play, Watford experienced some problems in the opening exchanges, taking just one point from first three league fixtures while also losing to minnows Gillingham in the League Cup. The Hornets looked destined for yet another defeat as West Ham took a two-goal lead last weekend, but they then produced a stunning comeback, scoring four goals to secure the first win of the season. Buoyed by said result, the hosts will be in great spirits for the visit of Man Utd and we fully expect them to adopt a positive approach.

Team News

Craig Catchart passed a late fitness test to start against West Ham and he is expected to keep his place, while Nordin Amrabat should be back in contention after missing the trip to London.

Summer recruit Brice Dja Djedje is out until January, but there are no fresh selection worries for manager Walter Mazzarri.

Manchester United

Unlike their next opponents, Manchester United enjoyed a strong start to the new season, beating champions Leicester City in the Community Shield match before winning the first three Premier League fixtures. However, the Red Devils have since suffered a dip in form, losing to both Manchester City and Feyenoord, meaning they need to return to winning ways as quickly as possible or else they could be in all sorts of problems. Manchester United were especially disappointing in the local derby against Man City, when they should have lost by a greater margin, and the pressure is now on the likes of Pogba, Zlatan and Rooney to prove they can lead this team to great heights. After resting a number of first team regulars in midweek, Jose Mourinho will revert to his strongest line-up at Vicarage Road, but his side could again face problems at the back. While Eric Bailly has the quality and strength to contain one of Troy Deeney or Odion Ighalo, his defensive partner Daley Blind is not exactly the most physical of defenders, and this is one match where Mourinho should probably give Chris Smalling a chance to shine.

Team News

Luke Shaw returns to the starting line-up after recovering from a minor injury, while Rooney, Zlatan, Valencia and Fellaini will be recalled.

It remains to be seen whether Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be handed a start after a largely disappointing performance in the Manchester derby.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams scored in each of Watford’s last seven fixtures
  • Etienne Capoue is Watford’s top scorer with three goals in four games
  • Ibrahimovic has scored four goals in as many Premier League matches
  • Man Utd won last eight matches vs Watford
  • A total of 29 goals were scored in those eight meetings

Conclusion

Watford will be high on confidence after putting four goals past West Ham United and chances are we will witness another entertaining game from Walter Mazzarri’s side. Man Utd, on the other hand, will want to make amends for successive defeats to Man City and Feyenoord, so backing both teams to score looks the right thing to do.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Fri 16 Sep, 2016
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