Sunday sees Watford play host to Manchester United at Vicarage Road on Sunday in what will be a crucial Premier League fixture as they aim to turn around their fortunes under Nigel Pearson, who is their third manager of the season.
The Hornets sit at the bottom of the table after taking only nine points from their first 17 games, a record that historically means they could end up getting relegated. They will head into the game on the back of another defeat, after losing 2-0 at Liverpool, but will hope to take advantage of their opponents' vulnerabilities to salvage their top-flight status.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils are sixth in the Premier League table and will seek to extend their six-match unbeaten run and improve their chances of a top-four finish. This weekend's encounter poses as the best possible chance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men to close in on the Champions League spots as fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur are set to take on fourth-placed Chelsea in a separate battle for the top four.
Watford vs Manchester United Head-to-Head
Manchester United have enjoyed the upper hand in last season's fixtures against Watford; September saw the Hornets losing 1-2 to Jose Mourinho's team at Vicarage Road while the return fixture saw the Red Devils establish a victory with the same scoreline at Old Trafford but this time under Solskjaer.
The Manchester giants have the second-highest win rate (92%) over the Hornets and have won 11 of their 12 Premier League meetings. Meanwhile, the hosts have only registered a single win in their last 15 encounters with United, having lost the other 14.
Watford form guide: L-L-L-D-L
Manchester United form guide: W-W-W-D-W
Watford vs Manchester United Team News
Watford are presently undergoing a massive injury crisis with first-team regulars Tom Cleverley, Jose Holebas, Roberto Pereyra, Adam Masina, Daryl Janmaat, and Danny Welbeck all lining up before the treatment table. While Masina is recovering from a thigh injury, Holebas is sidelined due to an ankle problem.
Injuries: Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, and Sebastian Prodl
Doubtful: Roberto Pereyra, Adam Masina, Daryl Janmaat, Jose Holebas
Paul Pogba was previously scheduled to return from injury during the Red Devils' midweek clash against Colchester United in the Carabao Cup but was pulled out due to illness. Meanwhile, Diogo Dalot is back in training and is expected to make an appearance against Watford this weekend.
Doubtful: Paul Pogba, Diogo Dalot
Watford vs Manchester United Predicted XI
Manchester United Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Fred; Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial
Watford vs Manchester United Prediction
Watford were largely impressive during their first outing under Pearson last Saturday and came back home with a few positives despite succumbing to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool. The Hornets could very well take advantage of some of Manchester United's shortcomings and look to frustrate them as they did to the reigning European champions over the weekend. However, the Red Devils have good momentum behind them and will likely fight through a narrow win over the hosts.
Verdict: Watford 1-2 Manchester United