That Watford would be in with a chance of survival seemed improbable when Nigel Pearson took the reins, and while an initial surge up the table has been checked, they remain competitive and just one point from safety.
The Hornets’ past nine games have seen them lose just twice (W4-D3-L2) as both defeats came by single-goal margins. They beat Man Utd and Wolves at Vicarage Road and earnt stalemates with both Sheffield Utd and Spurs, with those the four highest-placed sides they faced over this spell.
United have lost 2-0 to Burnley and been held to a goalless stalemate by Wolves in their last two at Old Trafford, suggesting their price is rather on the short side.
They can be infuriatingly inconsistent, seeming to turn a corner one week and then dropping points in unexpected quarters the next. Given their better performances have typically come against the stronger outfits where they’re not forced to take the initiative so much, most recently downing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, this might just be one of those occasions.
Indeed, beyond the top five in the table, United have only won five of 19 games this season. Even at Old Trafford it’s just three from nine, while home or away they’re a poor W3-D1-L4 against the bottom seven in the table.
United haven’t beaten Watford by more than a single goal in their last four head-to-heads and at the prices, Watford appear worth siding with on the handicap.
Watford +0.75 Handicap
The Hornets’ cause is helped by the continued absence of Marcus Rashford. The Red Devils have scored 31% more goals per game since the start of last season when the 22-year-old takes to the field from the off, and it remains to be seen if former Watford striker and January loan signing Odion Ighalo can effectively plug the gap.
Senegalese winger Ismaila Sarr could return here after being filmed back in training with the squad. His side’s points per game increases 127% from 0.6 to 1.36 with the 21-year-old in the starting line-up this season, though with him having been out of action for over a month, it’s another Watford forward that catches our eye here.
Abdoulaye Doucoure To Score Anytime
Abdoulaye Doucoure has found himself pushed higher up the pitch in recent games in a 4-2-3-1 and his three goals in six games lifts him up to four for the season, with only Troy Deeney netting more in the league for the club this term.
He’s shown a penchant for scoring against the big guns with efforts against Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd (twice), Man City and Spurs since the beginning of the 2017/18 season.
With Man Utd shipping 11 goals in eight matches against the bottom seven this term, registering one clean sheet, he stands a decent chance to stand out facing quality opposition again.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 10:30 21/02/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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