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Nottingham Forest v Man Utd – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Nottingham Forest host Man Utd in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday.

Forest v Man Utd

Nottingham Forest host Man Utd in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday. Forest beat the Red Devils 2-1 in a home league match in December. United haven’t lifted this trophy since 2016 whilst Forest last won it 65 years ago.

Nottingham Forest Form

Since his appointment, Nuno Espirito Santo has overseen 13 matches in two months. He initially oversaw two league wins, 3-1 at Newcastle and 2-1 at home to Man Utd. With just one win in six league matches since then, they’re a mere four points above the relegation zone. In the FA Cup, replays were needed against both Blackpool and Bristol City.

After drawing 1-1 in the league at Bournemouth, Forest drew 1-1 at home with Bristol City and progressed on penalties. A 3-2 home loss to Newcastle followed. A dominant 2-0 home win over West Ham followed as they produced 2.32 xG more than the Hammers. Last weekend, they lost 4-2 at Aston Villa in a crazy game where they allowed 3.57 xG.

Nottingham Forest Team News

There are injury doubts over three players. All of Willy Boly, Ola Aina, and Ibrahima Sangare arrived back from the African Cup of Nations carrying injuries. Chris Wood is ruled out in attack and so is left-back Nuno Tavares.

There could be some rotation to the XI. Divock Origi will hope to play in attack and Ryan Yates may be handed an opportunity in midfield. Left-back is a problem area and both centre-backs were subbed at half-time at Aston Villa. Young centre-back. Andrew Omobamidele could get a starting berth.

Nottingham Forest Motivation

It’s not clear how seriously Nuno will take the FA Cup. The relegation battle is more important and they face Liverpool over the weekend.

They have twice needed replays in the FA Cup so far and will want to avoid extra time in this one.

Man Utd Form

United were beaten 2-1 at home by Fulham last time out. That last-minute defeat put them eight points off the top four. Man Utd had 21 shots in that clash but also allowed 17 attempts to Fulham. Prior to that home defeat, they had won six and drawn one of their previous seven matches.

A last-gasp goal brought a 4-3 league win at Wolves before cruising 3-0 past West Ham at home. A fine 2-1 win at Villa Park saw them net a late winner. Before the Fulham setback, Ten Hag’s team had gone to Luton Town and won 2-1.

Man Utd Team News

Erik Ten Hag has some longer-term injuries and several doubts about this match. Luke Shaw is ruled out and so is Lisandro Martinez. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mason Mount, and Tyrell Malacia will also play no part in this match.

Anthony Martial is also ruled out in attack and Rasmus Hojlund has an injury which rules him out for a few weeks. Harry Maguire will play no part, but Casemiro has shaken off a head injury to be available. Both Raphael Varane and Bruno Fernandes will need late fitness tests due to knocks.

Man Utd Motivation

United have been in great form but the Fulham loss will knock their confidence. They will play to win this match as their only shot at a trophy.

Ten Hag will want his side to attack and to win in 90 minutes.

Key Stats

Nottingham Forest have lost 4 of their last 8 matches

Nottingham Forest have kept 1 clean sheet in 15 league matches

Man Utd have won 5 of their last 6 meetings between these sides

Man Utd have scored 2+ goals in 8 of their last 10 matches (24 scored in total)

Man Utd have won 4 of their last 5 EPL matches


So much about this game will come down to the starting XIs selected. Man Utd are hit by lots of injuries so it could be worth backing a Forest win… if they pick their best starting lineup.

Best Bet: Nottingham Forest win/draw double chance (90 mins) at 1.66

Alternative Bet: Both Teams to Score + No draw (90 mins) at 2.30

Goalscorer Tip: Taiwo Awoniyi to score anytime at 2.90

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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