Friday, February 3, 2023

The Perfect Watford vs Manchester United Preview: Predicted 3-5-2 and 4-2-3-1 Line-ups, The Where, When, How, Who And What Not

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism. 2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Where’s It At?

Vicarage Road Stadium, Vicarage Rd, Watford WD18 0ER, United Kingdom.

Bring your shades ‘kerchiefs along, it’s going to be hot afternoon down south with temperatures expected at 21 degrees C, with intermittent cloud cover for respite.

When’s It On?

Sharp at 12, mid-day, British Standard Time. Set your alarms bright and early, if you’re making the trip south.

It’s On The Telly, Yeah?

Yes, of course, good man. It’s Manchester United we are talking about. A Manchester United under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho, guarantees entertainment for the opponent. An upset is good for the ratings.

BT Sport 1, is where it’ll be telecasted, with the dry wits and wanting insight of Robbie Savage and Michael Owen! Whoop-de-doo!

Alternatively, if you, somehow, find yourself commuting, or stuck with the in-laws, there’s always The 4th Official’s LIVE Text Commentary, that’s just a download away. We’re pretty neat.

Team News For Watford FC

It’s Watford FC, there’s bound to be some team news with them changing their entire squad every season, innit? Well, for starters, Younes Kaboul, their big and burly central defender faces a late fitness test after picking up a muscular strain at West Ham. The man who replaced him, Sebastian Prodl, having consequently picked up a knock in the process, will too, undergo a late fitness test with the Frenchman.

Stefano Chuka Okaka, the former Anderlecht striker, who made his debut last week, will have to steam on the sidelines, after incurring a hamstring injury, which, if Mazzarri is right, will keep him out for the better part of a month.

With these three changes in consideration, Watford are expected to field, relatively, the same line-up as last weekend’s.

Team News For Manchester United

New recruit, centre-back Eric Bailly is set to be assessed, as to how he’s coming along, after picking up a knock in The Netherlands, in Manchester United’s humbling defeat to Giovanni Christiaan van Bronckhorst’s Feyenoord side, at De Kuip. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (thigh strain) would could be joining Bailly as an eager spectator, along with Phil Jones, who, Mourinho expects to be sidelined for about a month or so, with a knee-injury (not that his presence makes any sort of a difference, being out-of-favour.)

Wayne Rooney’s less talented doppelganger, who we believe has abducted the real Rooney (with the bald patch), will come into the fold; as will human-loofah, Fellaini (our informs us that he played, but it looked more like he was taking a leisurely walk at a park in Brussels); Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw are also set to make a comeback into the starting 11.

Quotable Quotes

“Mourinho talks, talks, talks and talks rubbish, so much rubbish” –  

Walter Mazzarri on then-Inter manager, Jose Mourinho, when they were both plying their trade in the Serie A.

The Form Book

Watford, with their tails up, are looking to entertain Manchester United, after their comprehensive 2-4 win away to West Ham United.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have faced back-to-back defeats, dealt by rivals Manchester City and then, by Feyenoord in the Europa League. They have been mostly a dishevelled, disorganised group of multi-millionaires.

What To Expect

Watford’s uncanny 3-5-2, which is primed to put bodies behind the ball, and hit teams on the counter, may unsettle Jose Mourinho’s side. The more the visitors keep searching for the opening goal, the more shall the pressure mount on Jose and his charges.




Watford 3-5-2; Manchester United 4-2-3-1.



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