United have won just one of their last six Premier League games as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side went into the international break on the verge of collapse.
Solskjaer has been criticised for consistently overlooking Donny van de Beek in midfield, but amid the ongoing struggles, there are reports that suggest that the Dutchman could make his first Premier League start of the season.
Van de Beek could start alongside Scott McTominay in the United midfield in what appears to be a must-win game for Solskjaer, who has plenty of decisions to make about his starting line-up.
Solskjaer and his coaching staff are said to have been impressed by the midfielder in training this week and are considering whether to play the 24-year-old from the start at Vicarage Road.
With Paul Pogba suspended and Fred having travelled to Sao Paulo to play for Brazil, the door has opened for van de Beek to make a first league start, and he will be desperate to impress.
Another player looking to show what he’s about is Harry Maguire, who scored in each of England’s World Cup qualifying wins during the international break.
The United captain will be hoping to maintain his midweek form after a rocky period at the back for the Red Devils.
Victor Lindelof will likely partner Maguire at the back following ongoing concerns over Eric Bailly’s reliability, and English duo Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford could start on either flank.
Their pace could cut through a Watford defence that have conceded 19 goals in 11 Premier League games, which could lead for a devastating scoreline with Cristiano Ronaldo lurking in the area.
Neither Rashford or Greenwood were part of Gareth Southgate’s recent England squad, meaning that the pair are well rested ahead of the Watford clash.
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The same goes for McTominay who missed Scotland’s qualifiers through illness, and van de Beek hasn’t been selected for the Netherlands for some time due to a lack of minutes on the field.
Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes did play, however, but they’ll be looking to bounce back after Portugal were stunned by Serbia in midweek, which caused them to surrender their automatic World Cup spot meaning that they must now qualify via a play-off.
With the next international break not scheduled until March for European sides, the focus now turns domestically, and United are in need of a win to get their season back on track.