Manchester United return to Premier League action this evening where they will welcome Nottingham Forest to the Theatre of Dreams. It will be the second match for United following the completion of the FIFA World Cup just over a week ago. United and Forest both returned to action in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup last week with United beating Burnley 2-0 and Forest beating Blackburn Rovers 4-1. United face Charlton Athletic and Forest face Wolves in the quarter finals.
After Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 with Brentford on Boxing Day, United will have a good chance of cementing their chances of breaking into the top four with Spurs sitting four points clear of them with United having two matches in hand. A victory over Forest with turn that into a one point lead for Spurs with United looking likely of breaking into the top four. However, they will need to keep an eye on Newcastle United, Liverpool. Brighton and Hove Albion and even Chelsea.
Erik ten Hag’s side may just have a full squad available for the clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux on New Year’s Eve but that would depend on Lisandro Martinez returning from Argentina fit and ready to play, which may not be the case. Providing he is injury free, he could well be on the bench for that match. United need to be ending 2022 on a high with two victories, which could see them break into the top four – but Spurs face Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia;
Antony, Fernandes, Martial;
Heaton; Maguire, Williams, Bennett; Fred, van de Beek, Iqbal; Elanga, Garnacho
Aurier, Worrall, Boly, Lodi;
Yates, Freuler, Mangala;
Johnson, Awoniyi, Lingard
Smith; Cook, Williams, Toffolo, McKenna; Colback, O’Brien; Surridge, Dennis
United and Forest have met 10 times in the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing two times with Forest winning one time. United have scored 31 goals, winning no penalties. Forest have scored six goals, winning no penalties. Forest still sit in the relegation zone heading into 2023 so they will need to have a massive turnaround in their form to continue playing in the Premier League next season. United need to solidify their position in the top four this season.
United have kept a total of five clean sheets with Forest keeping none. There has been some disciplinary issues with United players shown 12 yellow cards and no red cards. Forest players have been shown 20 yellow cards and no red cards. United have been a team that can win matches in fine form but have also shown poor form with the recent defect to Aston Villa. Post-World Cup though, United are back on a winning streak and look determined to remain on that track.
Jonathan Greening, Scott Wootton, Roy Keane, Danny Higginbotham, Lee Martin, Andy Cole, John Curtis, Viv Anderson, Teddy Sheringham, Michael Stewart, Federico Macheda, Neil Webb, Saidy Janko, Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson have all played for both United and Forest. The stand out players here are Roy Keane, who signed for United just £3.75 million, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham – who all won the treble with United in the 1998/99 season.
Written by John Walker