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Man Utd vs. Watford Predictions: Cards set to flow at Old Trafford

Alex Telles has been booked in two of his three Champions League appearances this season and features in our picks for Saturday
Alex Telles has been booked in two of his three Champions League appearances this season and features in our picks for Saturday

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Manchester United face Watford on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League. The game kicks off at 3pm and we’ve got a preview and tips for the game from our man @AnthonyEadson. 

Ralf Rangnicks’s side will have been pleased to come away from Madrid with a draw in their Champions League first-leg tie on Wednesday against Atletico. United went 1-0 down early in the first half when Joao Felix opened the scoring before Anthony Elanga leveled the score in the 81st minute. 

Watford suffered a crushing home defeat on home soil in midweek to Crystal Palace. The Hornets lost 4-1 at Vicarage Road to Patrick Viera’s men on Wednesday which means Roy Hodgson has now taken just three points from a possible 15 since taking over. 

Watford’s next three matches are Manchester United, Arsenal, and Wolves, and with teams around them such as Burnley and Newcastle picking up points, they will be desperate to get anything from their game at Old Trafford.

Man Utd vs Watford Tips

Man Utd vs Watford

Football Betting Tips
Alex Telles to be carded
9/2
Odds correct as of 2022-02-24 13:25 Odds subject to change.

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last seven league matches and have won all of the last eight against Watford at Old Trafford however, I’ve decided to stay away from the Match Result market and have focussed my attention on players being carded in this match.

A large proportion of my thinking behind wanting a few players onside for a booking on Saturday is that referee Kevin Friend will take control of the game. This season Friend has taken the whistle for 10 matches and has given out 53 yellows in that period. Of the 14 referees to have made 10 or more appearances this season, Friend ranks top for yellow cards per game, with a high average of 5.30 per game. 

I’m expecting Alex Telles to come here as a more attacking option for Ralf Rangnick in place of Luke Shaw who’s looked a little jaded in recent weeks. After Telles came on as a substitute against Atletico in midweek and the United manager was quoted as saying:

“When we had Aaron (Wan-Bissaka) and Alex (Telles) on the pitch, we had more possession of the ball, we had more offensive actions, we had more assistance from the wings”

With this in mind, my first selection (should he start the game) will be Alex Telles to be carded, which is available at 9/2 with Unibet. Those odds imply an 18% chance of this bet landing and I think that should be a little higher considering who the referee is for this match and who the United’s left-back may have against him as his direct opponent. 

Ismaila Sarr was the most fouled player in the Championship last season and four of the first five left-backs to come up against him in the Premier League this term picked up a booking. The Senegal attacker is drawing 2.5 fouls per game on average, which is the second-highest in the division this season behind Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha (3.0 per game).

Looking back at Alex Telles’ disciplinary record and this campaign he’s been booked in two of his three Champions League appearances, including when coming on as a substitute on Wednesday. In his final season with Porto the Brazilian collected seven yellows and two red cards in just 31 league appearances and with this in mind, I’ll be taking the 9/2 for him to be shown a card against Watford. 

 

Man Utd vs Watford Match Centre
Emmanuel Dennis & Paul Pogba to be carded
18/1
Odds correct as of 2022-02-24 13:30 Odds subject to change.

I’ll also be having a small punt on a little double of two players to be carded in this match. Paddy Power and Betfair have 18/1 on show for both Emmanuel Dennis and Paul Pogba to be booked which I think looks reasonable price with other firms such as bet365 taking a more conservative approach at 12/1. 

Of all the players to have made 10 or more appearances in the league this season, Emmanuel Dennis and Paul Pogba rank first and second when it comes to fouls committed per game. Only two players have picked up more yellow cards this season than Watford’s Dennis who has accumulated seven yellows and a red in just 23 appearances. Betfair and Paddy Power are best-price at 23/10 on the Nigerian being carded on Saturday and with an average of 2.09 fouls per game, I’m happy to include him in this double.

Paul Pogba missed a large chunk of the season through injury but has featured in all of United’s games since returning at the start of February. In the league this season, Pogba has been shown five yellows and a red in just 13 appearances in the league this campaign and was also booked in the FA Cup game against Middlesbrough at the start of the month. Again, at the time of writing, Betfair and Paddy Power are best-price on this player picking up a card, and with 18/1 available via the Bet Builder feature. 

To recap, that’s 9/2 & 18/1 selections for Saturday should all players involved start the game. Good luck to those following and please always gamble responsibly. 

 

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