Juan Zuniga scored 53 seconds after coming on and Troy Deeney netted a stoppage-time penalty as Watford beat Manchester United 3-1 at Vicarage Road in September 2016. That defeat was the third consecutive defeat for Jose Mourinho and his men, 120 days ago.
Old Trafford has been a ‘’no joy’’ zone for the Hornets, with the Red Devils having won the previous 11 meetings between them before losing at Vicarge Road. Conceding an average of 2.3 goals, Watford have never won at Old Trafford. Walter Mazzarri’s side has stuttered after that famous win, blowing hot and cold over the past few months, with losses to Liverpool, Burnley, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City, Sunderland and home-and-away losses to Stoke City dropping a possible 21 points.
But if present form is anything to go by, then United have a game on their hands today. Watford is on a back-to-back winning streak, including another famous and surprise win against Arsenal at the Emirates. Wins over Everton, defending Champions Leicester and Middlesbrough has seen them move into the top half of the table. Unbeaten in their last four league encounters another victory on Saturday would see them become just the ninth club in Premier League history to complete the double over the Manchester United. With their new January acquisition of M’Baye Niang looking the real deal, it’s a Super Saturday match to look forward to.
Manchester United are currently on their longest unbeaten run since the Sir Alex Ferguson retired. The longest ongoing unbeaten run in Europe’s top five leagues and no defeats in 18 matches across all competitions at Old Trafford is not a mean feat.
The Red Devils will zoom in on this match with only three points on their minds, knowing it will not only put them in prime position to be in the top four again for the first time since September if other results go in their favour, but also to take their revenge for the 3-1 loss in September at Vicarage road. Revenge surely tastes better when served cold-that is exactly what United must be cold, calculated, precise, focused, ruthless but with flair if they must overcome Walter Mazzarri’s side. This can also be classified as a potential banana skin for United, as their away form is much better than their home form having dropped 15 points at Old Trafford since September.
Coming off a recent thrashing of defending Champions Leicester 3-0 last time out with goals from Mkhitaryan, Zlatan and Mata, the Red devils have played 19 matches since their last loss against the Hornets, 9 wins, 1 loss, and 9 draws in the premier league. Yes the draws have frustrated United’s manager, Jose Mourinho, as this has made them not to only drop off the top four, handing the title advantage to their bitter rivals and his ex-team, but it also threatens to keep them out of Champions League which is a no no. Jose Mourinho’s side last tasted defeat in the league in October last year – a 4-0 thrashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. And with their unbeaten run, have been stuck at the 6th position since November, 2016. It’s little wonder Jose looks a shadow of himself in the past weeks.
After a run of 7 games without a win, now having scored more than 1 goal in 3 consecutive Premier League matches for the first time; a club record, the Hornets are in a confident mood, knowing a win will take them to seventh heaven, but 9th in the table if West Ham fail to win this weekend. Their last league win damaged Arsenal’s chances of a first Premier League title in 12 years. Can they be labeled “’spoilers’’ denting United chances of making their Top four season target or will Jose Mourinho and his Red army annihilate and desecrate Watford in front of 75k old Trafford faithful, making up for their blip in the reverse fixture?
Make it a date later today as we count down to this potential block buster!