Manchester United will be looking to return to winning ways when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League this afternoon.
The Red Devils slipped to sixth place in the top-flight table when they suffered a crushing 2-0 defeat to local rivals Manchester City prior to the international break, falling nine points behind league leaders Chelsea as a result.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate to halt United’s recent slump amid mounting pressure on the 48-year-old.
Several reports have indicated that the Norwegian is on borrowed time after suffering six losses already in the opening weeks of the current campaign, so a positive result against the Hornets could be crucial for his future.
However, Solskjaer will have to contend without key players Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane through injury, while Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw may also be sidelined.
With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast expected United to line up when they take on Watford, with two changes to the side which started last time out in the Manchester derby…
David de Gea is set to keep his place in goal after maintaining his strong start to the season, increasing the speculation regarding the future of backup ‘keeper Dean Henderson.
Ahead of the 31-year-old will be a fairly unfamiliar back four due to a couple of enforced absences, with Alex Telles replacing Shaw. Club captain Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will make up the centre-back unit, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right as the 20-time English champions go in search of just their third clean sheet of 2021/22.
The midfield should see the double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay return as Solskjaer opts for a tried and tested 4-2-3-1 approach, while Bruno Fernandes will play ahead of the defensive-minded duo, reverting from the more withdrawn role he took up in the derby.
In attack, Marcus Rashford is set to return to the starting XI as United change from a back five to four, which duly sees the £9m-rated Eric Bailly drop to the bench after his horror own goal two weeks ago.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood will complete the starting lineup in a must-win clash for the Red Devils and Solskjaer.