Manchester United strongest 4-2-3-1 v Watford: Key player returns

OPINION By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

As is par for the course now at Manchester United, Louis van Gaal will await updates from the overworked medical team before naming his team for Wednesday’s Premier League clash against Watford.

Key duo Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling were among the 14 players unavailable for selection for Sunday’s thrilling win over Arsenal but could return in the midweek match at Old Trafford.

The unexpected victory over Arsene Wenger’s title challengers has taken some off the heat off Van Gaal but the pressure will be on the home side to clinch a fourth consecutive win and keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish.

Marcus Rashford’s extraordinary start to his career has lifted a team, a club and an entire fanbase but Van Gaal will know he needs as many of his big guns available as possible for what will be United’s fourth match in just 10 days.

Smalling is set to come into contention after missing two matches with what the player claimed was a minor shoulder injury, while Martial (hamstring) will face a fitness test before being given the all clear.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Marcos Rojo could drop out after suffering an injury against Arsenal in his first start in three months, which could open the opportunity for a full debut at left-back for Tim Fosu-Mensah, the latest in a long line of Academy graduates given their chance by Van Gaal.

If Smalling is available, Carrick could push back up into central midfield alongside Morgan Schneiderlin.

Manchester United (possible) De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Fosu-Mensah; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Lingard, Herrera, Depay; Rashford