Man Utd Boss Picks 18-Man Squad For Watford – Key Duo Missing But Martial Returns

By on March 2, 2016

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Chris Smalling and Michael Carrick have been left out of Louis van Gaal’s 18-man squad for Manchester United’s game against Watford tonight, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Smalling has missed United’s last two games after suffering a shoulder injury while colliding with an advertising hoarding during the FA Cup victory at Shrewsbury Town 10 days ago.

The centre-back had hoped to be fit to return to the squad when United welcome the Hornets to Old Trafford this evening but it looks as though van Gaal will once again have to make do without his key defender.

Carrick has filled-in alongside Daley Blind at the back during Smalling’s absence but van Gaal is set to go with a new partnership tonight as the Manchester Evening News also claim the midfielder wasn’t among the squad that arrived at The Lowry Hotel ahead of tonight’s game.

Marcos Rojo could move in to the middle of defence as the Argentinean international has retained his place in the squad despite being forced off against Arsenal with a foot injury.

Anthony Martial is also back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out of the last two games, although it remains to be seen whether van Gaal will stick with Marcus Rashford through the middle after he scored four goals during Martial’s absence.

Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira haven’t made the squad after playing for the Under-21’s two days ago while Cameron Borthwick-Jackson also misses out through injury.

With the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw still unavailable, van Gaal has brought Joe Rothwell in to the squad and the 21-year-old could become the 15th academy graduate to make his debut under the Dutchman tonight.

Here is the full 18-man squad according to the MEN:

De Gea, Romero, Darmian, Varela, Poole, Blind, Riley, Rojo, Fosu-Mensah, Rothwell, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Mata, Lingard, Memphis, Weir, Rashford, Martial

Check out our match preview which includes a predicted starting eleven for tonight’s game

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