Brentford host Man Utd at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday in the English Premier League. The Bees fought back well from 2-0 to draw 2-2 at Leicester on the opening weekend whilst The Red Devils were beaten 2-1 at home by Brighton. Man Utd have lost six away matches in a row with 17 goals conceded.
Thomas Frank’s team have a superb final two months of last season. After a run of seven defeats in eight, relegation looked a distinct possibility. Instead, a run of seven wins in ten followed as they played some brilliant football. Winning 4-1 at Chelsea was a highlight as well as a 3-0 home win against Southampton and coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Everton.
The final day saw a 2-1 home loss to relegation-threatened Leeds. In their first match of the 2022-23 campaign, they turned a 2-0 deficit after 61 minutes into a 2-2 draw at Leicester. Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva got the goals.
Brentford Team News
Coach Thomas Frank has a few players absent for this one. Ethan Pinnock and Kristoffer Ajer miss out at centre back and Sergi Canos is injured on the right flank. Josh Dasilva’s goal last time out means he could start in preference to Mathias Jensen.
Mikkel Damsgaard joined from Sampdoria this week and could make his debut from the bench. Thomas Frank is expected to use a 4-3-3 shape but could switch to a 3-5-2 for extra defensive cover if needed.
An evening game with the fans fully behind the team should mean a high-intensity performance. Brentford will take the game to Man Utd, especially if a 4-3-3 is selected. Against David De Gea and Lisandro Martinez, expect plenty of long throws and long balls up to Ivan Toney.
The Bees will play to win this one but could settle for a point in the second half.
Man Utd Form
United’s form is nothing short of desperate. They have lost three Premier League matches on the bounce and six in a row on the road. They were handed some thrashing in the final weeks of last season including 4-0 at Liverpool, 3-1 at Arsenal and 4-0 at Brighton. A 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace on the last day ended off a terrible caretaker spell by Ralf Rangnick.
This season began with a 2-1 home loss to Brighton, the first time Man Utd have been beaten at Old Trafford by the Seagulls. Although they pulled a goal back in the second half, it was a deserved defeat and the defensive deficiencies were again on full display.
Man United Team News
Erik Ten Hag is again faced with a problem up front. Anthony Martial remains doubtful although he shouldn’t be far off a return. Cristiano Ronaldo has been training and will expect to start but whether the coach selects him is another question. Marcus Rashford is being linked with a move away from the club, too.
In midfield, Christian Eriksen played well against Brighton and could be shifted from a false nine position to a deeper midfield role. Fred or Scott McTominay would then find themselves dropped down to the bench. No other changes are expected with Raphael Varane on the bench and Lisandro Martinez preferred.
Man Utd Motivation
United will play to win this match, with Ten Hag looking to impose his style of play on Brentford. A draw would not be seen as a good result and there is more pressure to play to win after losing the opening match.
If trailing or drawing, expect some attacking moves and substitutions like last week where Ronaldo replaced Fred in the second half.
Brentford have won 3 of their last 5 home PL matches, keeping 4 clean sheets
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Brentford’s last 5 PL matches
Brentford have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 matches against Man Utd (all comps)
Man Utd have lost their last 6 away PL matches (17 goals conceded)
Man Utd have failed to score in 4 of their last 5 away PL matches
This match looks ripe for an upset. Brentford’s direct game will really challenge United’s backline. It isn’t an easy match to bet on so some creative options may make sense.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score at 1.60
Alternative Bet: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 goals at 2.10
Value Bet: Brentford win/draw double chance + over 1.5 goals at 2.40
Goalscorer Tip: Ivan Toney anytime goalscorer at 3.30
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