In this Matchweek 5 match, Watford are hosting Manchester United at Vicarage Road this Saturday. Watford are the surprise team of the season as they still have a perfect record after 4 matches in the English Premier League, something that few have even dreamed of. Manchester United are in a crisis and speculation around the future of Jose Mourinho at the club is running rampant across the media.
Watford kicked off their EPL season with a 2-0 win versus Brighton at home. They followed that up with an impressive 1-3 win on the road versus Burnley, a comfortable 2-1 win at home versus Crystal Palace and a surprise 2-1 win at home versus Tottenham Hotspurs. Their perfect record is one of the best stories in European soccer at the moment.
Manchester United are having a different season altogether though. They opened the season with a narrow 2-1 win at home versus Leicester City, only to drop the next two games. They were ambushed by Brighton & Hove Albion on the road in a 3-2 loss and then completely demolished by Tottenham at Old Trafford 0-3. They did back on track with a 0-2 win versus Burnley on the road but the overall impression is that the Red Devils are underperforming this season and playing a rather outdated soccer.
The game will be played at Vicarage Road where Watford have lost only twice in their last 13 home games and those losses date back to the previous English Premier League season. Vicarage Road is also the place where Watford have managed to beat Manchester United the last time, in 2016.
Manchester United have dominated this matchup, winning 11 out of 12 matches against Watford since 1999. Most the matches between the two sides have been high scoring affairs with 9 out of the 12 matches seeing more than 2.5 goals scored in them. With Jose Mourinho at the helm, this might change a bit but, still, we should see plenty of attacking soccer in this one.
I have prepared a short breakdown of the match and some betting predictions, so feel free to read on.
Watford vs Manchester United Odds
- Watford 4.20
- Manchester United 1.90
- Draw 3.50
- Over 2.5 Goals 1.95
- Under 2.5 Goals 1.75
Watford vs Manchester United Pick
Even though Watford are enjoying a perfect start to their season they are still considered underdogs at their home ground against Manchester United, despite the Red Devils’ poor start to the season. Manchester United are favored to win at 1.90 odds, while Watford are valued at 4.20 odds to win and 3.50 odds to draw the game.
Both sides will be missing players in this matchup. Watford will be without the services of reliable midfielder Tom Cleverley who is out with a calf injury, while Manchester United are missing Marcus Rashford who is suspended because of the red card he received in a match versus Burnley two weeks ago.
Watford have shown this season that they are not afraid to attack the teams who are favored against them. This, especially, showed in their matchup against Tottenham Hotspurs where they appeared to be the better side in the game and ended up winning 2-1 at Vicarage Road. The strength of their team lies in the creative force of Roberto Pereyra who has already bagged 3 goals for Watford this season.
Manchester United are having an up and down start to the season and there are very few bright spots on their roster so far. One player that has been void of criticism so far has been the forward Romelu Lukaku who has also bagged 3 goals in his first 4 matches in this year’s edition of EPL. The revolving door at the back of Manchester United is a concern as they have allowed 7 goals in just 4 matches, something that has very seldom been the standard at Manchester United.
Watford will seek to pressure Manchester United all over the pitch and try to regain the possession of the ball quickly so they can utilize their quick counter-attack to look for scoring opportunities. Manchester United’s backline has been atrocious, so far, this season and there should be room for Watford to exploit that.
On the other hand, Manchester United will go into this game with a classic Mourinho game plan for away games, control possession and the middle of the pitch, keep a clean sheet and try to score from the meticulous low-risk build up in the attack. Many have grown to hate Mourinho’s tactical approach to the game but when a team is in crisis, his system can provide some much-needed stability and consistency.
I am one of the biggest fans of Watford’s record-breaking start in the EPL but I think that their record will take a hit this weekend. Manchester United are used to the pressure and facing must-win ultimatums every week, something that Watford have very little experience in. So, my pick is for Manchester United to win in a classic Mourinho low-scoring away game.