FootballManchester United

Reds look to take the sting out of Watford

United host the Hornets in third round of FA Cup

First Blow

 Manchester United’s quest for a first FA Cup since 2016 begins Saturday when they host Watford.

Coming off a heartbreaking 2-0 defeat to Man City in the Carabao Cup the Reds will be desperate to change their fortunes starting this weekend.

The Hornets meanwhile are hoping for a resurgence after falling to the second tier of English football last season.

 Lineup News

 Edinson Cavani will serve the final match of his three-game suspension so he won’t be available for the Reds.

Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are still on the long-term absentee list.

For the Hornets new manager, Xisco Munoz continues to deal with a number of injuries.

Domingos Quina, Isaac Success, and Stipe Perica are still unavailable.

Christian Kabasele could also miss with a knee injury.

Watford midfielder James Garner will hope to draw into the lineup against the club that loaned him in September on a season-long deal.

First-team regulars Joao Pedro and Craig Cathcart could be back.

In a whole other league

 Despite five straight seasons in the top-flight of English football, the Hornets have not fared well against the top teams in the Premier League.

Watford’s lost their last 10 FA Cup ties against top-flight opponents.

The last time they beat a Premier League side in this competition was in 2003 when they won 1-0 against Sunderland.

Third Round’s a charm

The third round of this competition has been very good to the Reds.

United’s progressed passed this stage in 33 of their last 35 ties.

Their two defeats at this stage (2009/10 and 2013/14) came at Old Trafford against Leeds and Swansea.

Kicking the Hornets’ Nest

 Man United will fancy their chances against a side they’ve handled with ease lately.

The Red Devils have won three of their last four FA Cup encounters with Watford since a semi-final win in 2007.

In all competitions, Watford’s lost their last nine away games to Man United.

If we go back further they’re winless in their last 13 trips to Old Trafford.

The last win for Watford at United’s home ground dates back to 1978 when the Hornets stung the Reds 2-1 in the League Cup.

 Current Form

 Man United’s been in fine form in the Premier League of late having gone unbeaten in their last 10 fixtures and moving into a tie with Liverpool at the top of the table.

You’d think they’ll be in a foul mood on Saturday though after losing to its biggest rivals in the League Cup.

For the Hornets it’s been a humbling first season in the Championship.

After five seasons in the Premier League, Watford’s lacked consistency this season and haven’t won more than two games in a row.

That’s cost them in the standings as they currently sit in sixth, 10 points behind leaders Norwich City.

They’ve got four points in their last four Championship fixtures.

Since Munoz took over in December the club’s got a win and a loss.

“Fighting like animals”

 Watford manager Xavi Munoz says they’ll throw everything they can at the Reds on Saturday.

“Most important is we go there fight like animals and enjoy the situation,” said Munoz.

“And I know it’s difficult because Manchester is a perfect team but we need to give our best and try and play very hard and most important for the fans to enjoy and to see our team.”

Match Info

 Saturday’s match from Old Trafford kicks off at 8 pm. (JSL).

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