Brentford host Man Utd at the Brentford Community Stadium on Tuesday evening. The hosts have won two in a row at home after they turn around from difficult form displayed between rounds eight and 11. United have kept consecutive clean sheets in the league under Ralf Rangnick but look to be lacking some creativity and penetration.
After Brentford’s great start to the season (12 points from their first seven matches), things got significantly tougher for the Bees with four successive losses. The side has rebounded well since then. Their last four matches have seen a 1-0 home win against Everton and two late goals to beat Watford 2-1 in their most recent match.
They trailed 1-0 after 83 minutes before Pontus Jansson and Brian Mbuemo scored the latter a 96th-minute penalty. They only produced 1.0 xG in open play so it was a slightly fortunate win. There was a 2-0 loss at Tottenham and a 2-2 draw at Leeds sandwiched between those victories.
Brentford Team News
Thomas Frank has a few headaches on the injury front. Ivan Toney has COVID-19 and it’s not clear if he will be able to return. Right wingback Sergi Canos is back from suspension and will start. Goalkeeper David Raya is out long-term with a knee injury.
Both Kristoffer Ajer and Mathias Jorgensen are missing in defence where Ethan Pinnock also has COVID-19 and is expected to be absent. Yoane Wissa will play up front with Toney likely out. Charlie Goode will cover for the injuries in the back three.
The Bees will be hugely motivated for this match in front of their vocal fans. They will look to play at a high intensity and look to get the ball wide to their wingbacks against Man Utd’s narrow midfield shape.
A draw would be a great result. Brentford may play to win from the start but be open to settling for a point in the second half if they are coming under pressure.
Man Utd Form
United is in improved form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked on the back of seven defeats in 13. Michael Carrick oversaw a 2-0 win in Villarreal and a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge (34% possession, two shots) before beating Arsenal 3-2.
Ralf Rangnick has so far seen 1-0 wins against Crystal Palace and Norwich in the league with a 1-1 draw against Young Boys in-between that with a second-string XI. The Palace game saw just one shot on target in the final hour of football whilst Norwich was denied by several fine David De Gea saves. Man Utd’s winner came from the penalty spot.
Chelsea Team News
United has a long list of players who have been missing in recent weeks and are still not ready to return. They include Raphael Varane at center-back, Paul Pogba in midfield, and Edinson Cavani upfront. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof are both doubtful so Diego Dalot and Eric Bailly could complete the defence.
Rangnick is not expected to make many other changes with Mason Greenwood perhaps the one player coming into the front four. Nemanja Matic is ill whilst Luke Shaw is expected to be left on the bench once again.
Man Utd Motivation
Rangnick spoke about his intention to improve Man Utd’s leaky defence first and foremost after his appointment. Two clean sheets have seen an improvement on that front but the side’s passing and creativity need a lot of work.
United will play to win this match but don’t expect a free-flowing display. They will likely press well, keep compact and look to win 1-0 once again.
Brentford have won their last 2 home matches (winless in 5 at home before that)
Brentford have scored 5 goals in their last 5 home matches
Man Utd have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 3 away matches
Man Utd have scored just once in each of their last 3 away PL matches
Man Utd is expected to defend quite solidly once again but struggles to break their opponents down. Another 1-0 win could be a smart bet.
Best Bet: Man Utd win at 1.86
Value Bet: Man Utd win to nil at 3.30
Multiple Leg: Draw/Man Utd double chance + under 2.5 goals at 2.40
Correct Score Tip: Brentford 0-1 Man Utd at 7.25