How Manchester United should line up vs Watford in the Premier League fixture
The game will be the first for Solskjaer as permanent manager and he will be hoping to have a been given a squad fitness boost as a number of his players worked on their individual recovery over the international break.
Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku all withdrew from international duty with injuries but Rashford posted an update on his social media channels suggesting he may be fit for the clash.
Here’s how our writers think United should line up.
The irony of United’s worst performance since Anfield is there should not be many unenforced changes to the team. Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard should be fully fit and Martial withdrew from the France squad early enough to give him a chance to regain sharpness.
The one area where United should entertain a change is in midfield, where Nemanja Matic has started to regress. Admittedly, this has come on the back of an injury but he is pedestrian at the best of times and the alacrity Matic showed in the first couple of months of Solskjaer‘s reign has subsided. Solskjaer was unwise to discard Fred and Scott McTominay so swiftly just to accommodate Matic.
Diogo Dalot failed to distinguish himself at Wolves and Ashley Young will have benefited from a three-week breather now he is back from suspension.
After a two week break United will be itching to get going again however their team selection will likely rely on the late fitness tests their first-team players undergo.
If fully fit the defence picks itself although Dalot might be better suited against a team like Watford who drop deep and are likely to rest a number of key players.
In midfield there is a rare opportunity to rest Matic which needs to be taken. McTominay deserves another start while Fred and Pereira would be good options from the bench.
The front three still chooses itself but, with Lukaku likely to miss the match, there could well be more opportunities for Greenwood and Chong to feature from the bench.
With a high number of first team players missing international action due to injury or not being called up Solskjaer should have the benefit of a nearly fully fit squad.
United need to get back in to a rhythm so Solskjaer needs to pick as close to his strongest starting XI as possible
The back four has come to pick itself and the strongest trio for United’s midfield is Matic, Pogba and Herrera. With Lukaku likely to miss out again through injury it gives another chance for Rashford to play through the middle with Martial and Lingard out wide.
Now pick the team you want to see start.