Manchester United host Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday in a 7:45pm kick-off at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to rest several first choice players with back-to-back Premier League matches against Burnley and Liverpool on the horizon next week.
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Watford are unlikely to be at full strength, either, with an instant return to the Premier League their priority this season.
Man Utd are 1 / 4 to win the match, with Watford 10/1 to cause an upset. The draw is 5/1, with extra-time and penalties set to follow in that scenario.
Fringe players such as Brandon Williams, Juan Mata and Odion Ighalo are likely to start for Man Utd, but I think they should have just about enough in the tank to get the job done.
Watford, who recently replaced Vladimir Ivic with Xisco as their manager, have not scored more than once in any of their 13 away matches in all competitions this season. Indeed, they have scored only five goals in 11 league games on the road.
It would not surprise me if they manage to score once against a weakened back-line, but it certainly would if they bring that run to an end by scoring twice.
As such, I will back Man Utd to win and Watford to score under two goals as a starting point for our Bet Builder.
Andy Madley officiates the match at Old Trafford, with the referee showing fewer than five cards in all of his 14 games behind closed doors.
Only one of the 28 teams he has officiated (Southampton against West Ham) has been shown more than two cards, meanwhile, so given that fewer cards are generally shown in cup games anyway, I’m happy to back both teams to receive under three cards each to receive odds of 4/5:
With team selection uncertain, player bets are obviously more difficult prior to seeing the team sheets, but if Mason Greenwood starts then I think 13/8 (Sky Bet) is a good price for him to score. He will be keen to impress having rarely started in recent matches and is more than capable of bagging against Championship opposition.
If Williams starts at left back against Ismaila Sarr, then I’d fancy the full-back to be carded at 4/1 (Betway). Sarr is a handful for any opponent on his day, drawing three fouls per game so far this season, with Williams lacking the pace and physicality to handle him. The 20-year-old was booked six times in 11 league starts last season and has received two cautions in less than 250 minutes of football this season.
Solskjaer may choose to use Williams at right-back, though, with Alex Telles at left-back. If so, the Portugal international looks extremely big at 8/1 (Betfair) to be booked. He’s yet to receive a caution in his fledgling United career, but he did receive seven yellows and two reds for Porto last season and isn’t afraid of putting a tackle in.
Nemanja Matic also looks a big price at 11/2 (Betfair) given he is likely to be covering Sarr’s side of the pitch, with Will Hughes an eye-catching price at the same odds. The double pays 40/1, which is big for two holding midfielders who are prone to a late tackle or a tug of the shirt.