Manchester United begin their FA Cup campaign against Watford at Old Trafford tonight.
United have won three of their last four FA Cup ties against the Hornets with their last victory coming in 2007.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take confidence from United’s recent home away record against the Championship side, Watford have lost their last nine away games and are winless at Old Trafford in their last 13 games.
United also have an excellent record in the third round of the competition, winning 33 of their last 35 FA Cup third-round ties.
The Reds reached the semi-final of the competition last season where they were beaten by Chelsea.
Read how our writers think United should line up against Watford below:
Brandon Williams needs to be trialled at right-back – especially now Ethan Laird has left on loan – and the rest of the back five pretty much picks itself.
United do not need two defensive-minded midfielders and Van de Beek would have the freedom to roam forward and link up with Juan Mata with Nemanja Matic holding the fort.
Jesse Lingard needs an opportunity to put himself in the shop window, Daniel James needs to rediscover the form he showed against Leeds and Mason Greenwood could do with a pick-me-up.
Solskjaer has to make changes against Watford given United’s schedule, but he should stick with Henderson in goal who deserves another chance to impress.
There can be wholesale changes in defence. Bailly and Telles should be certain to start, while Tuanzebe is due a fourth start of the season and needs more game time. At right-back Fosu-Mensah and Williams don’t offer enough competition to Wan-Bissaka, but Williams is the more attacking option and that could be crucial here.
In midfield there’s an argument to play Van de Beek in a deeper role and Lingard further forward, but the Holland international needs game time as Fernandes’ back-up and this is an ideal opportunity to play 90 minutes in attacking midfield. That means Matic and maybe Fred in the deeper roles, with the Brazilian offering a little bit more in an attacking sense.
There can be a raft of changes in attack too. This is a chance for Greenwood to lead the line, with Mata and James out wide.
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Solskjaer and United will be desperate for a trophy but can afford to make changes tonight. United have an excellent record in the third round of the competition, winning 33 of their last 35 FA Cup third-round ties.
Henderson should retain his place in goal with Williams coming in at right-back given Laird is off on loan. Tuanzebe can come into the team to give Maguire a rest. Given Bailly’s form, Lindelof could feature to keep the Ivorian fresh. Telles is a natural replacement for Shaw.
This game could be perfect to showcase Van de Beek’s talents in midfield to hand a much-needed rest to Fernandes. Matic could come back into the team alongside the Dutchman with Lingard being given the chance to put himself in the shop window.
Up front, Solskjaer name dropped Ighalo who deserves one last opportunity in Red. Greenwood and James should flank him.