By Imran Kardar
The international break is over and now, thankfully, we won’t be bothered by it for a few months. That means we will have a continuous run of EPL and CL in the coming months! This is where the season really kicks in! However, as we all know all too well the international break does have its victims and this time United have been hit hard. Most importantly United will be missing Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick. Baring Rooney who has fallen ill the other two picked up injuries while playing for their international teams. It’s a big blow for United to be without both Martial and Rooney as that hardly leaves any striker in the squad. This was a concern when the season started and now LVG will have to rotate and find a striker to lead the line. Wilson is the only alternative that LVG has unless he decides to start the low on confidence Memphis as a striker.
Along with those 3 Untied are also missing Fellaini, who could possibly have been a makeshift striker as he has played there before this season, Valencia, who has had ankle surgery, and the long term absentee Luke Shaw. All in all those are 6 players missing. LVG is going to have to shuffle the pack around for this one and it’s an important game that United must win.
Down to the playing XI predictions, DDG should be starting in goal with Darmian, Smalling, Blind and Rojo in defense. With Carrick out the midfield partnership should be between Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger. Upfront I would expect Lingard on the right, Mata at No.10, Memphis on the left and Wilson upfront as the striker. LVG might opt to play Young at left wing and Memphis as the striker but I would want a specialist at that position and prefer Wilson to start as the striker. Memphis could even start on the bench with Young playing at left wing. There is a case for including Pereira in the starting line up as well and he could do a job on the left wing. So a selection dilemma for the manager ahead of an important game.
United must start the game in a same manner they had the last couple in the EPL in an attacking manner. It’ll be a tough game for United as Watford have only conceded 4 goals till now at home. So the Red Devils should be looking to get on the score sheet early and settle any nerves at the start of the game. Since United are missing Martial and Rooney I don’t think there will be many goals in this one. I’ll happily take a 1-0 win to ensure that 3 points are in the bag and look for the other teams to drop points so that the gap at the top can be closed. Let’s hope that United are present on the day and play attacking football to bag the win. GGMU!