Nigel Pearson hopes his Watford team can ignore the sense of occasion when they go head-to-head with Manchester United this weekend.

The head coach acknowledged that playing against big teams like United and next week's opponents Liverpool is what makes the Premier League so alluring, but does not want his players to become too caught up in the moment.

Instead, he is hoping they can remain focused enough to try and take some vital points that could help to ensure such big fixtures are a part of their schedule again next season.

"Our next two fixtures on the face of it are very difficult," he said.

"But they are great fixtures for us as well and I think they're the types of games that every player should look forward to playing and every manager or coach should look forward to being involved in.

"I'm very pragmatic about these games - Man United away is our next one and we're preparing for it and we'll do what we can to get three points if we can and if we can't get three points, get one and that's really the way that we approach every week.

"What I say in preparation is more about how we go about trying to get what we want out of the game and that is to try and win games, it's not about getting overly emotional about it."

Pearson's team will be boosted by the return of defender Kiko Femenia, but winger Ismaila Sarr might have to wait a bit longer before he is deemend fit to play. 

Elsewhere Daryl Janmaat is expected to make an appearance with the Under 23s soon as the team moves closer to once again being back at full fitness.

"We're making real progress now," said the head coach on his injured players. 

"Hopefully Janmaat will play in the Under 23s next week and that means everybody's more or less available for selection. We've had a very positive week, we've had Sarr and Kiko back in full training which is good, but I suppose now before the final selection for the weekend's game the conversations will be about managing risk because I want them back to stay back.

"I have to detach myself somewhat from the emotional side of 'let's get these players back in' and it's really about making decisions now which protect us over the longer term.

"The biggest part of that decision is whether it's the right or wrong decision to include him [Sarr] and that's really the only part of the question I'm going to engage in. I understand how important his contribution potentially can be and he's done very well in games for sure and it's never easy to miss players of his ilk, but what's also important is that we don't put him into a situation where, if he's not quite ready, the risk of re-injuring a hamstring is exceptionally high, so we need to get that one right."