Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick will face a tough decision over whether to hand in-form winger Anthony Elanga a starting berth for the visit of Watford this afternoon. The 19-year-old has emerged as a valuable asset for the Red Devils over the course of this season and finds himself in a rich vein of form after scoring in each of his last two matches.
Elanga helped Rangnick’s side to a thrilling 4-2 victory over Leeds United with his late goal to put the icing on the cake at Elland Road last weekend before grabbing a dramatic equaliser against Atletico Madrid in midweek.
The United boss will be hoping that Elanga can deliver the goods once again later today as they aim to stay in the top four with a positive result against Watford on home soil.
Express Sport takes a look at the United side that could be tasked with downing the Hornets when the two sides do battle this afternoon.
Goalkeeper – De Gea
David de Gea will likely retain his place between the sticks for United after saving their blushes on a number of occasions over the course of this season.
The Spaniard has arguably been his side’s best player since the beginning of the campaign and remains well ahead of Dean Henderson in the Red Devils pecking order as a result.
He will be tasked with keeping out the likes of Joshua King and Emmanuel Dennis for the visit of Watford, who have failed to score in three of their last five Premier League matches.
Defence – Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Telles
Rangnick may decide to make a number of changes at the back this afternoon, with Diogo Dalot potentially in line to retake his starting spot at right-back ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Alex Telles may also come into the side in place of Luke Shaw, who was substituted in the second half of the midweek draw against Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane could be set to keep their places at the heart of United’s defence.
Midfield – Fred, Pogba, Fernandes
Scott McTominay will be out of action for United against Watford after failing to shake a bout of illness that prevented him from playing in Madrid.
His absence could see Paul Pogba feature alongside Fred in the engine room for the Red Devils once again this afternoon.
The Frenchman looks set to leave United in the summer after failing to agree a new contract but is still expected to play a crucial role for the club between now and the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes will be looking to stamp his authority on today’s match after failing to perform at his very best against Atletico Madrid three days ago.
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Attack – Sancho, Elanga, Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line for United this afternoon in the absence of Edinson Cavani, who still finds himself on the treatment table.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner could be supported in attack by Jadon Sancho and Elanga if Marcus Rashford is dropped to the bench.
The latter has struggled to perform on a regular basis for United this season, leaving him unable to match Elanga’s impact in big moments as of late.
It seems likely that Elanga will get another opportunity to impress against Watford as he looks to maintain his upward trajectory with another influential performance at the next time of asking.
Expected United XI (4-2-3-1) – De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Telles; Fred, Pogba, Fernandes; Sancho, Elanga, Ronaldo.
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