Jose Mourinho knows Manchester United have little room for error as they travel to Watford on Tuesday night.
United were largely unimpressive during Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Brighton, with Mourinho admitting his side are far from their best form of late.
Neighbours and title rivals Man City won late on against Huddersfield on Sunday to restore their eight-point advantage over United at the top of the table, and any more slip-ups from the Red Devils could effectively end their title hopes before the New Year.
A trip to Marco Silva’s in-form Watford, therefore, comes at a tricky time for United – especially as the Red Devils were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by the Hornets at Vicarage Road last season.
Watford captain Troy Deeney returns after completing a three-match suspension.
Defender Miguel Britos is a doubt after suffering a knock in the 3-0 victory over Newcastle and will be given a late fitness test.
Defenders Craig Cathcart (knee) and Younes Kaboul (hamstring), midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah (knee) and forward Isaac Success (knee) are likely to miss out once more.
Provisional squad: Gomes, Karnezis, Bachmann, Femenia, Britos, Mariappa, Kabasele, Wague, Zeegelaar, Holebas, Deeney, Janmaat, Prodl, Cleverley, Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Watson, Carrillo, Pereyra, Richarlison, Gray, Okaka, Sinclair.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is pushing for his first start since April. The 36-year-old has made three substitute appearances from the bench since returning from a serious knee injury, while Paul Pogba played his first 90 minutes against Brighton after nearly 10 weeks out with a hamstring injury.
Marcos Rojo could be rested if fellow defenders Eric Bailly or Phil Jones recover from injury, while captain Michael Carrick is building his fitness after having a cardiac ablation to deal with an irregular heart rhythm.
Provisional squad: De Gea, Romero, Pereira, Valencia, Young, Tuanzebe, Jones, Bailly, Darmian, Lindelof, Rojo, Smalling, Shaw, Blind, Pogba, McTominay, Matic, Herrera, Fellaini, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Ibrahimovic, Lukaku, Martial.
Watford starting XI: Gomes, Mariappa, Kabasele, Prodl, Femenia, Hughes, Doucoure, Cleverley, Zeegelaar, Richarlison, Gray
Man United starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Matic, Pogba; Martial, Fellaini, Rashford; Ibrahimovic