Manchester United will once again be without both Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay for their Premier League clash against strugglers Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Both players missed United’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie with the reigning Spanish champions, with McTominay suffering from an illness picked up following the 4-2 win over Leeds United last Sunday.
Red Devils manager Ralf Rangnick said on the midfielder’s availability ahead of their meeting with the Hornets: “He’s still ill and he hasn’t been training with us, so hopefully he will start training with us again next week, but for tomorrow’s game they will both [McTominay and Cavani] be unavailable.”
As for Cavani, the striker has been absent since 8 February with a groin injury, having last played in the 1-1 draw at Burnley, with Rangnick stating: “The situation is exactly the same. He [Cavani] hasn’t been training with us so he won’t be available for tomorrow’s game and the same is true with Scotty [McTominay].”
With Arsenal not in Premier League action this weekend, United have a real chance to boost their top-four bid by extending their advantage over the Gunners to four points in fourth, although Mikel Arteta’s side will have three games in hand on Rangnick’s come Saturday evening.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last seven top-flight outings, winning their last two fixtures against Brighton and Leeds going into Saturday’s meeting with the Hertfordshire outfit.
Watford are really struggling towards the bottom of the table, with Roy Hodgson’s side 19th and four points from safety, making it a contest that the hosts should have no issue in winning on paper.
However, the absence of two of Rangnick’s senior players, who have a combined 44 appearances in all competitions, will certainly be a blow.
Even though the Uruguayan has only scored twice this campaign, Cavani is still a recognised goalscorer who, when available, undoubtedly adds quality to the side.
As for McTominay, the 25-year-old has started 21 of the 23 league matches he’s been available for this campaign, with the Scotland international certainly one of the German interim manager’s favourite pupils.
What will be a boost for fans though, is the fact that it seems likely that the midfielder will be available for next weekend’s Manchester Derby, whilst Cavani’s return date is still unknown.