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United bid to ease pressure on under-fire boss
The pressure is piling on Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and only a win will do for the Norwegian when the Old Trafford outfit head to Watford on Saturday.
Watford have lost three of their four games since Claudio Ranieri took charge and I am expecting United to claim all three points here.
However, Solskjaer’s men have just one win in their last six Premier League games and at a short price a straightforward win for the visitors isn’t particularly appealing and instead I’m opting for both teams to score as my main bet for this match-up.
Watford won’t roll over on Saturday
The Hornets were thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool at home in Ranieri’s first game in charge but then bounced back with a 5-2 win at Everton. Since then, they have suffered a pair of 1-0 defeats to Southampton (h) and Arsenal (a) meaning they have failed to score in four of their last five games.
However, there have been some encouraging signs in terms of Watford’s attacking intent under Ranieri and they were arguably unlucky not to get anything out of their game with Saints. They also managed to create a few opportunities against both Liverpool and Arsenal and they may well be able to find a way through against a suspect United backline.
The Red Devils have just one clean sheet in their last 13 games in all competitions and both teams to score has landed in eight of those games. They have also managed just two clean sheets in 11 games and have conceded 17 goals in total, so we may well see both keepers beaten on Saturday.
Attacking quality can prove the difference
Solskjaer may be under real pressure but that is largely due to United’s performances against their main rivals. The manner of the defeats to the likes of Liverpool and Man City are concerning, but against teams at the other end of the table they have largely been able to get the job done aside from a home loss to Aston Villa and a defeat at Leicester, who are perhaps in a false position themselves at this point.
As such I am expecting the visitors to leave with all the points, and a 2-1 win for United looks a reasonable option in the correct score market as they have scored two or more goals in each of their last four away games in all competitions.
Aside from the odds-on Cristiano Ronaldo, who you can get at 16/1 to score first with 888sport, there aren’t really any candidates for an anytime goal that immediately jump out here but at a big price defender Harry Maguire looks worth some consideration. The centre-half has only managed one goal for United this season, in the 3-2 Champions League win over Atalanta, but scored in consecutive games for England over the international break. Watford have conceded four goals from corners this season, and Maguire is always a threat from set pieces despite the fact he is struggling for form right now.
Watford predicted lineup: Foster, Femenia, Cathcart, Nkloulou, Rose, Sarr, Cleverley, Sissoko, Tufan, Dennis, King
Manchester United predicted lineup: De Gea, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Martial, Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo