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Watford-Manchester United Preview
Rarely has a Premier League fixture appeared to mean less to Manchester United than Sunday's clash with Watford at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho's Manchester United (24-6-7) side are guaranteed of a second-place finish in the table following a midweek goalless draw with West Ham United, while the manager and his players will likely have more than half an eye on the upcoming FA Cup final against Chelsea.
However, while the possibility of picking up silverware will likely be central in Mourinho's thoughts this week, the manager was still keen to talk about his team's achievement of finishing second and how he is not celebrating just yet.
"I am not jumping around-that's not my nature or my history," Mourinho said. "Manchester United are the same. The top four is obviously important, but it's better to finish second than fourth, and it's better to be second for months and months and months than losing that position and that control.
"We don't celebrate second position, but we are happy because for a few months, we realised it was impossible to win the league and, of course, the target is the second position."
Watford (11-8-18) certainly believe that Manchester United might be distracted this weekend. The Hornets are hoping to pick up a win that could see them finish in the top half of the table, and defender Christian Kabasele says that this weekend could provide a chance to pull off an upset.
"United play in the cup final in the next week so maybe they will not go 100 per cent to keep something for the final," Kabasele predicted. "You never know, but we need to go there and play for the three points.
"Everybody is motivated to make a good game there; and why not finish in the best position for Watford since they came back in the Premier League? There is something to get in this game and we are all motivated for this. We can finish in the top half and it would be great for Watford."
Watford will make the trip to Manchester without the injured Tom Cleverly and Stefano Okaka, while Kiko, Andre Carrillo, Sebastian Prodl, Younes Kaboul and Tommy Hoban are all fitness doubts.
Manchester United will be missing Marouane Fellaini, while Eric Bailly is likely to be rested due to fitness concerns and forward Romelu Lukaku will also be absent as he attempts to get fit in time for the cup final.
"Romelu is in Belgium having his treatment and there is communication between the doctors in Belgium and our medical department," Mourinho revealed this week. "We are just waiting to see if it's possible for him to be involved in the final, if not starting at least he can be on the bench."
Manchester United won 4-2 when these teams met earlier in the season, making it four wins from five against Watford since the Hornets returned to the top-flight of English football.
Updated May 11, 2018