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Can United Burst Watford’s Premier League Bubble?

Can United Burst Watford’s Premier League Bubble?

Watford vs Manchester United

If they can it’s not going to be easy.

Watford have been the surprise side in the first month of the Premier League season and are riding on the crest of a wave.

To put it into perspective, they have 12 points from their first four games – a maximum points haul and double that of this weekend’s more illustrious opponents.

Skipper Troy Deeney admits all the pressure is on the visitors – and he is right.

Talking Points

Not even this week’s news that club mascot Harry the Hornet has stepped down has been able to quash the optimism surrounding Watford. They are flying.

Their 2-1 home triumph over Spurs last time out stunned the North Londoners and maintained their perfect start to the campaign.

They are making some of the Premier League 2018 news stories right now, just a month after most pre-season predictions had manager Javi Gracia walking the plank.

After four games, they sit third and are yet to drop a point. Gracia has fielded the same starting XI in all of their matches.

The last time Watford were as high as third in the top flight after August was in May 1983 when they clinched an overall second-place finish.

They are also chasing a record. Victory this weekend would see the side become the first in the club’s history to win its opening five games of a top-flight season.

Their main challenge is sustainability as they have started promisingly before (just this time, it was not expected).

Remember, they were in fourth place after eight games last term and in seventh spot after 15 matches the season before that.

Watford’s start to the season has been in stark contrast to United who have won two and lost two of their opening four games.

While Gracia was the favourite EPL manager to become the first to be sacked, his counterpart Jose Mourinho is the one now under scrutiny with rumours of disharmony – however inaccurate they may be – continuing to circulate among certain sections of the media.

Also in contrast to United, most Watford stars have fresher legs due to not seeing international action this past fortnight, coupled with a vociferous home crowd, will make this a tough game.

They remain without ex-United man Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu this weekend.

United will be without England’s star man over the past week, Marcus Rashford, as he begins a three-match domestic suspension after picking up the first red card of his fledgeling career in a 2-0 win at Burnley.

Phil Jones is still out, while Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw are also major doubts after picking up injuries on international duty; they could well be replaced by Ashley Young and Ander Herrera.

United may well have benefited, however, from the lack of international duty of Alexis Sanchez who showed glimpses of his undoubted magic when he started at Turf Moor.

He was given permission by Chile to miss their friendlies against Japan and South Korea, and that lack of match time, not to mention exhaustive travel, should mean he is fully rested.

The other question is: can this possibly be as exciting a contest as the one these two sides produced in Hertfordshire last season?


This fixture last season was a cracker.

A Young-inspired United raced into a three-goal lead inside little over half an hour, and the game looked safe.

The loss of Nemanja Matic to injury led to a little wobble, and Watford threatened the comeback of all comebacks with two goals in seven minutes before a superb solo effort from Jesse Lingard sealed a 4-2 win.

The sides met at Old Trafford on the final day of last season in effectively a ‘dead rubber’ match as United had already secured the runners-up spot and Watford were safe from the threat of relegation.

Rashford scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 home victory which marked Michael Carrick’s final appearance before retirement. (He is now a coach at the club).

Betting Tip

Manchester United, Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 2.23

Premier League 2018 odds with SBOBET make United clear favourites.

Even accounting for Watford’s 100 per cent record start to the season, the Hornets are priced 1X2 @ 3.80, compared to Man Utd @ 1.94.

The draw is an attractive 3.45.

Watford fans will feel it’s worth a punt on their team with Asian Handicap betting with +0.25 @ 2.31.

Over 2.75 goals @ 2.33 is tempting also.

Double chance Watford or draw will pay out @ 1.80, and a repeat of last season’s scoreline at Vicarage Road correct score 2-4 is a whopping @ 70.00.

Lots to ponder.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.





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James Davis
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