Nottingham Forest v Manchester United – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

Nuno Espirito Santo makes his second appearance at the City Ground this evening as Forest look to continue the momentum from the ‘new manager’ effect that saw them beat Newcastle 3-1 thanks to a Chris Wood hat-trick…

Although that win against Newcastle ended a seven-match winless streak for Forest, Nuno still has a job on his hands as the threat of relegation hasn’t vanished and they’re only two points clear of the in-form Luton in 18th who have a game in hand.

Swedish international Anthony Elanga has been thriving at Forest and his two assists to Wood on Boxing Day bring his tally up to five for the season alongside four goals. Anthony was getting fair playtime for the Manchester United side towards the end of his tenure and he’ll be keen to prove to his former club his true worth.

Only two of their next nine matches are against opponents in the bottom half and it will take some serious performances if they are still out of the red zone in six weeks.

Nottingham Forest v Manchester United
Premier League
17.30 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches last 10 years)
AUG 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Man Utd 3-2 Nottm Forest
APR 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Nottm Forest 0-2 Man Utd
FEB 2023 EFL CUP Man Utd 2-0 Nottm Forest
JAN 2023 EFL CUP Nottm Forest 0-3 Man Utd
DEC 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Man UTd 3-0 Nottm Forest

Manchester United arrive in Nottingham and seek to be galvanised by a magical comeback against Aston Villa from 2-0 down when all hope seemed lost to win 3-2.

The first half was a shambles for Utd as McGinn’s freekick cross magically turned the defence and keeper into motionless statues and five minutes later it was Dendoncker who had more awareness than Varane to use the side of his foot at short notice to net another.

Whatever ten Hag said in the dressing room at half time worked wonders because in the second half, we got a glimpse of what a fluent and functional Manchester United looks like and that’s not something we’ve seen in many months.

The Garnacho and Hojlund utopia was in full flow and complemented by a real passion from Fernandes, Eriksen and Rashford to move forward with the ball and play with a rare degree of urgency and hunger.

The interesting stat is that Manchester United actually had fewer Expected Goals than Aston Villa in the second half despite the 3-0 scoreline which says they were taking their chances when it mattered and creating goals from seemingly nothing.

The obvious difficulty now is to kick on and make that second half performance a consistent baseline of football for the rest of the season.

With that said, it’s not clear sailing for Erik ten Hag just yet as he’s still prominent in most ‘Next to Leave’ markets, perched closely behind Roy Hodgson.

It’s of massive interest to see if Erik makes any changes to the successful lineup of Tuesday against a side in Forest who play with an increased level of physicality to many others in the Premier League.

VERDICT
Although Nuno seems to have turned over a new leaf for the Tricky Trees, it won’t be enough to stop the clear goalscoring threat of Manchester United’s attacking options if they play near their best. Hojlund has now ended his goalless drought and I expect himself and Garnacho to once again feature on the scoresheet. At odds against I’m backing them to win at 11/10 with starsports.bet

LEWIS WILLIAMS

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PROFIT/LOSS (DEC 2023): LOSS -8.69 points

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Author: Eugene Morris