Louis van Gaal's rollercoaster season continues with Manchester United vs. Watford at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Both teams are unbeaten in their last three games, although United may be on more of a high coming off an impressive home win against Arsenal than Watford, who drew 0-0 at home to Bournemouth.
However, expecting United to maintain good form during Van Gaal's reign has generally led to disappointment.
The Dutchman has intriguing decisions to make about players returning to fitness, but he said the players were coping well with the short turnaround time between games:
Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores said, per his club's official website:
Manchester United are a very good team, they move the ball very well and they're one of the best teams in the Premier League at moving and keeping the ball.
But we also have our tools which we try to use well, with the idea to be competitive, to play like a block like all season, and we'll try to make a big effort to get the objective.
They nearly proved a match for United at Vicarage Road earlier in the season where it took Bastian Schweinsteiger forcing a late own goal to earn United all three points.
Given the Red Devils' quest to mount a genuine challenge for a top-four place, all three points are once again vital here.
Date: Wednesday, March 2
Time: 8.00 p.m. GMT/3.00 p.m. ET
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
TV Info: Premier League Extra Time (U.S. only)
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S. only)
Manchester United: DLLWWW
United are starting to get some players back. In an interview with MUTV (h/t the club's official website) Van Gaal said:
Players are coming back in March, I think. We need players who are coming back because our programme is very full.
[Anthony] Martial can play and also [Matteo] Darmian can play. Maybe Chris Smalling can play. We have to wait and see for [Wednesday].
Van Gaal also hinted that Marcos Rojo could be available for selection, and he suggested that Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini will soon be available.
United are still without Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Will Keane, Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw, with young defender Donald Love added to the injury list, per PhysioRoom.com.
As for the visitors, BBC Sport reported:
Jose Jurado again misses out for Watford with a calf injury.
Etienne Capoue is fit despite being substituted because of tiredness in Saturday's draw with Bournemouth.
With so many players returning it is difficult to know exactly how much Van Gaal will change.
The above selection assumes that Smalling is not yet fit, and that Martial will be gradually reintroduced. If either Rojo or Smalling is available, they should start in place of Michael Carrick. Darmian, if he does come back, should do so at left-back rather than displacing the excellent Guillermo Varela.
The big decision is, of course, whether to replace Marcus Rashford with Martial if the Frenchman is fully fit. With the 18-year-old having made such an impact, there should be no rush to change things.
Given Capoue is fit, there is little need for Watford to make changes from the team that started against Bournemouth, though Mario Suarez remains an option.
Players to Watch
Assuming he starts, or at least makes an appearance from the bench, the Old Trafford faithful will be keen to set eyes on Rashford. Given his strike rate currently averages two goals per game, it is easy to see just what the fuss is about.
A revitalised Ander Herrera is worth keeping an eye on, too. Two goals in as many games suggests the midfielder is back in form. As, of course, is Memphis Depay, whose scintillating performance against FC Midtjylland was followed by a fine display against Arsenal.
For Watford, the front two of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney remain the key threat. Ighalo has not scored or assisted since 30 January—a tough spell for the Hornets in terms of finding the net—but Deeney got a brace against Crystal Palace on 13 February.
Allan Nyom is enjoying a pretty good season in the Premier League. He is succeeding with an average of 3.2 of his attempted 3.7 tackles per 90 minutes of football, but he will be up against a significant test in the form of a revitalised Memphis and the possible presence of Martial.
United's left flank has brought them a good deal of joy of late, and the Cameroonian will have to be at his best.
Manchester United: 13-20
Odds for the game correct at the time of writing, per Odds Shark.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.