Paul Merson states his prediction for Man United v Watford

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson is backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to win his first game as permanent Man United manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screengrab)

Paul Merson is confident that Manchester United will beat Watford on Saturday afternoon to heap pressure on top-four rivals Arsenal.

The Red Devils will have a point to prove after Manchester United lost successive games for the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the international break.

Manchester United suffered a 2-0 defeat by Arsenal at The Emirates to give the Gunners the momentum in the top-four race before a shock 2-1 loss to Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-final.

Nevertheless, Solskjaer was appointed as Manchester United’s permanent manager on Thursday morning after the Norwegian head coach signed a three-year contract at Old Trafford.

The 1999 Champions League winner will be eager to make a winning start to his reign as permanent boss when Watford make the trip to the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is backing Manchester United to ease past Watford.

“A United win coupled with a defeat for Spurs could really through the top four race wide open,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Watford are a funny team, one minute they really impress and then, when you fancy them to be tough to beat – like at Liverpool – they get ripped apart.”

Merson added: “Who knows how the game itself will play out, Watford are inconsistent while United have lost their last two, but I think United will get the win and apply the pressure.”

Manchester United are in fifth place in the Premier League and two points adrift of Arsenal, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.

The Red Devils have only managed to qualify for the Champions League by virtue of a top-four finish on two occasions since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Manchester United will take on FC Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals next month.

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