Manchester United travel to City Ground to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening, aiming to end 2023 on a high note.
The Red Devils ended their four-game winless run across all competitions by producing a memorable 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Boxing Day. It was a much-needed win for Erik ten Hag and Co. which lifted them to seventh in the table. They will now look to build on the comeback win over Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.
However, Ten Hag’s men could face a tricky challenge against Nottingham Forest, who shocked Newcastle United 3-1 at St James’ Park on Boxing Day.
Manchester United Team News
Luke Shaw and Sofyan Amrabat missed out on the win over Aston Villa with slight knocks and have not recovered in time to face Nottingham Forest. Anthony Martial has yet to recover from an illness that has seen him miss the last few games.
Lisandro Martinez (foot), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Harry Maguire (groin), Casemiro (thigh), Mason Mount (calf) and Victor Lindelof (groin) remain on the treatment table.
Predicted Manchester United lineup vs Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1)
Andre Onana could have done well for Aston Villa’s opener but saved his side in the second half with a critical save at 2-1. The Cameroonian is expected to continue in goal for this fixture before he probably flies away to join his national team for the AFCON preparations.
With Luke Shaw unfit, Diogo Dalot is expected to continue at left-back, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka hopes to impress from the right-back position. Dalot operates as an inverted full-back in Ten Hag’s system which helps in smooth build-up from midfield.
Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans should form the central defensive pairing again, and the experienced duo have to organise the backline better this time around than they did against Villa in the first half.
Kobbie Mainoo and Christian Eriksen was a bold central midfield pairing against Villa, and Ten Hag is likely to stick with them at City Ground. Scott McTominay will again start on the bench for the Red Devils.
Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role, looking to unlock the Forest defence with his incisive passing, vision and guile. If the trio of Eriksen, Mainoo and Fernandes click, United will be too hot to handle for Forest.
The 3-2 win over Villa was Man United’s best-attacking performance of the season, with Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford exploiting the open spaces from the right and left-wing, respectively. Switching Garnacho to the right worked wonders as he ran the Villa defence ragged and scored a brace, while Rashford repaid the manager’s faith with arguably his best performance in months.
Rasmus Hojlund finally broke his Premier League duck with the winner against Unai Emery’s side, and he will be desperate to get out there, lead the Man United attack and score at Forest.
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