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Who could start up-front for Manchester United vs Watford?

by Sam Peoples

With Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial ruled out of Manchester United’s game against Watford this weekend, we take a look at Louis van Gaal‘s options up-front and who he can start on Saturday.

James Wilson

There’s only one natural striker in the senior squad and that’s Wilson but van Gaal has already confirmed he doesn’t have enough ‘match rhythm’ to complete the full 90 minutes. So, even if he does start, which I don’t think he will, then he won’t play the full match.

Unfortunately for Wilson, he doesn’t seem to have shown van Gaal enough to earn himself a real opportunity this year.

Memphis Depay

I expect Memphis to start up front against Watford. There’s going to be a big element of unpredictability and risk with whoever van Gaal plays up front and after a few weeks out of the limelight, giving Memphis the chance to redeem himself with a starting role in attack is the biggest show of confidence van Gaal can give the Dutchman.

We’re yet to see the real Memphis in the Premier League but a match winning performance against Watford could prove to be the turning point in his season if he manages to do it.

Ashley Young

A wildcard option is Young as he has played as a striker for United in the pre-season tour but I think this is an option van Gaal won’t look to use unless he doesn’t have any others.

On the other hand, one thing which van Gaal has done in recent weeks with Axel Tuanzebe (centre-back) and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (left-back) is bring in players from the youth academy who can fill holes in the squad created by injuries. I fully expect him to do the same this weekend with a young striker and there are two options.

Ashley Fletcher

The 20-year-old has had to deal with some injuries this season but is a strong option from United’s U21s. Having made his England U20s debut during the international break, during which he scored his first goal, he’ll be in confident mood and will see this as a big opportunity.

With three goals in four starts for the U21s, his goals-to-games ratio is excellent but he’ll have to push aside a younger striker who has been in red hot form all season.

Marcus Rashford

With nine goals in 13 starts across the U18s and U19s, Rashford’s been in superb form in 2015 and is only continuing to get better. He only turned 18 in October but if I had to choose out of the two alongside Fletcher, Rashford is the player who I would expect to see in the squad for Watford.

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