DANIEL MCCULLOCH (@DMcCulloch1984) shares his favourite fancies from Super Sunday's showdown between Watford and Manchester United at Vicarage Road.
Watford v Manchester United | Sunday 22nd December 2019, 14:00 | Sky Sports
Going against the most readily available statistics is not something I do regularly but I am doing so in this encounter. Both teams have scored in just six of Watford’s 17 league games this term but I expect the Hornets and Manchester United to oblige at Vicarage Road.
Watford have scored just nine league goals this season but that is not reflective of the volume of chances they have created. Expected Goals (xG) stats suggest they should have scored over 20 goals and their wayward finishing is reflective in the fact that they are 13th in terms of shots with 197, but they are only managing to get 26% of the shots on target as they rank bottom of the shots on target table, with just 52.
Still, only 17% of those shots on target have gone in, compared with a league average of around 30%, suggesting that they have often found goalkeepers in sublime form.
Nigel Pearson took over the Hertfordshire club this month and he will have been pleased with the volume of chances his side created in a tough game at Anfield. Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ismaila Sarr but missed really clear openings and I expect the home side to once again create chances against Manchester United.
BTTS has landed in 12 of Manchester United’s 17 away matches and this is an angle I general like with them, simply because they have a lot of attacking talent but struggle to dominate matches because their central midfield is not up to the standard we’ve come to expect from the Red Devils.
Consistency has been the issue for them, with fine performances against the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City in complete contrast to dreadful showings against Newcastle and Sheffield United. In the latter match, despite being second best for the vast majority of the contest, they still managed to score three goals and I expect their athleticism in front to cause real problems for a Watford side that look pedestrian at the back.
I expect Watford to improve under Pearson and as the table is doing them a slight injustice already, I l actually fancy them to stay up (almost 3/1 is available on the exchange). Here though I will simply take the on BTTS landing, that is available at 4/5 with Betfred.
Watford v Manchester United – Both Teams To Score (4/5 Betfred)