Manchester United will be aiming to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
The Red Devils have been in a dreadful run of form in recent weeks, picking up just four points from the previous six matches.
They have already dropped five points adrift of the Champions League places while they are further four behind leaders Chelsea.
Saturday’s game is a must-win for the club. Any other result could lead to the potential sacking of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer could revert to the traditional 4-2-3-1 set-up after a mixed run for fortunes with a three-man backline.
Eric Bailly could be the player sacrificed in defence.
David de Gea has been United’s player of the season so far with some outstanding displays.
He made five saves and prevented an own goal in the Manchester derby this month, but United still suffered a 2-0 defeat.
Bruno Fernandes urged for more protection for the Spaniard after the game.
De Gea will be hoping to keep only his second clean sheet since the September international break.
In front of him, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are undisputed starters in the full-back positions, but the latter’s form has been a worry over the past few months.
The England international made a poor decision that contributed to Bernardo Silva’s goal, and he will be keen to make amends.
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof appear set to start in central defence.
Maguire had a memorable international break with two headed goals. He became England’s top-scoring centre-back in history as a result.
Hopefully, he can translate the scoring form at club level.
He is likely to partner Lindelof instead of Bailly, who was unconvincing in the derby with an early own goal.
Raphael Varane has been ruled out for the rest of the month with a hamstring injury.
In midfield, Scott McTominay and Fred are Solskjaer’s trusted lieutenants, and no changes are expected.
There have been calls from some fans to play Donny van de Beek, but the Dutchman could be limited to another cameo.
Paul Pogba is suspended for one more game after his sending off at Liverpool.
The Frenchman also picked up a muscle injury in France training and may not return until the turn of the year.
Further forward, Mason Greenwood should slot into the right-wing position, having played up front alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the recent defeat to Manchester City.
Bruno Fernandes is an undisputed starter from the number 10 role. Marcus Rashford withdrew from international duty with an illness, but he has returned to full training.
The 24-year-old has been in good form for the Red Devils with three goals from six appearances following his early-season absence due to shoulder surgery.
Ronaldo should lead the line on his own. Anthony Martial could offer support off the bench, but Edinson Cavani could be sidelined for a while after aggravating a tendon injury.
Predicted Man Utd line-up (4-2-3-1) vs Watford
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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