Manchester United are set to make wholesale changes for the FA Cup third-round clash against Watford, with Dean Henderson among those sure to keep his place.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed he would make “a few changes” from the United side that lost 2-0 to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night. United could recall Brandon Williams, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Alex Telles to their defence, while Donny van de Beek is set to start.
Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford will likely be rested, among a host of other key players. United have two crucial Premier League games following the visit of Watford, against Burnley on Tuesday night and at rivals Liverpool on Sunday (January 17th).
Edinson Cavani serves the final game of a three-match suspension, while Facundo Pellistri has tested positive for covid-19 and will not be involved.
Solskjaer revealed in his pre-match press conference that he’s seen a positive reaction from his squad to their latest semi-final exit.
He said: “The reaction has been as expected, you’re disappointed when you go out, always are, wanted to go one step further but have shown many times this season we can bounced back after disappointments, did it after defeat to Arsenal, after Tottenham, after going out of Champions League, boys have reacted well.
“We go into the next game wanting to win this, we enter this competition wanting to win, there are a few players that had a few knocks, there’ll be a few changes but we’ll still field a team I’m confident in.”
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Manchester United’s good form was punctured by a 2-0 Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Man City.
Goals from John Stones and Fernandinho secured a deserved win for City as United laboured at Old Trafford, losing a fourth semi-final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United will now refocus on their league campaign, though more immediately they have an FA Cup tie vs Watford to look forward to on Saturday night.
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Solskjaer also hinted that Odion Ighalo could be involved against his former club. The Nigerian has been peripheral at United this season and is set to return to Shanghai Shenhua later this month when his loan expires, but Solskjaer said: “Odion, it’s special for him against Watford, he will be involved, he’s in the squad, he’s been training really well.
“This season he’s not had as many opportunities and not let himself down as a professional and a human being. He’s always a positive influence in the dressing room.”
Predicted United line-up vs Watford: Henderson; Williams, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Telles; Matic, McTominay; Mata, Van de Beek, James; Greenwood.