Man United v Watford
Sunday, May 13 – 15:00
Man United suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Brighton last week, leading to further questions over the future of forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who stood in for regular starters Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku. The news from Old Trafford is that Lukaku will not be fit for Sunday’s match, but could return in time for United’s upcoming FA Cup final clash with Chelsea. Despite encountering a number of setbacks this season, the Red Devils have improved under Jose Mourinho over the last 10 months, and look set to finish their current campaign second on the leaderboard.
Watford beat Newcastle United 2-1 in their last game, thanks to goals from Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray. The result marked the Hornets’ first victory in eight league matches, and manager Javi Gracia was keen to point out that Watford’s campaign should be considered a success, due to the fact that they will remain in the Premier League next season. Hopefully, the club’s notoriously ruthless owners will remember the Spaniard’s words over the summer.
What the stats tell us:
- The Red Devils have won 13 of their last 14 competitive matches against Watford – their only defeat coming at Vicarage Road in 2016.
- Watford have failed to win in each of their 10 top-flight trips to Old Trafford (D2 L8) – losing all of their last six at the ground.
- Sunday’s match will mark the first time that Watford finish a top-flight campaign away from home since 1987/88, when they lost 2-1 to Luton.
- Man United have won more final day matches than any other Premier League club (17) – losing against Tottenham (2001/02) and West Ham (2006/07).
- In fact, the loss to West Ham was their only defeat at home in 23 final day fixtures in the top-flight (W17 D5).
- Watford have failed to find the back of the net in each of their last eight matches on the road – since Andre Gray’s goal at Man City in January.
- This will be the 500th Premier League match at Old Trafford. The stadium has seen 1406 goals – more than any other in the competition.
- Jose Mourinho has only been defeated once on the closing day of the Premier League season – with his Chelsea side losing to Newcastle in 2005/06.
- Alexis Sanchez has been involved in six goals over his four matches against Watford in the Premier League (three goals, three assists).
- Troy Deeney has netted three goals against the Red Devils – all from the penalty spot.
Man United were excellent in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road, holding off a late onslaught to beat the Hornets 4-2. You never quite know which United side are going to turn up at the moment. They beat the likes of Liverpool, Man City, and Chelsea, and then lose to West Brom and Brighton. With their FA Cup final clash on the horizon, United’s players will want to impress Mourinho, so expect a strong performance on Sunday. United to win.