Preview: United have no excuses to not win now! They have demonstrated how to do that and will need to beat Forest!

Ten Hag will need to keep his nerve and do the right thing to win matches!

Nottingham Forest -v- Manchester United

Premier League

City Ground, Nottingham

Saturday 30 December 2023, KO 17:30 GMT

Manchester United travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Erik ten Hag’s side are fresh from their 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Boxing Day where they came from 2-0 down with Rasmus Hojlund his first league goal.

Alejandro Garnacho scored a brace after having another disallowed in the second half of the match. United seemed like a different team in the second half and it shows that the confidence to win can be found and United have no excuses not to perform for the remainder of the season.

Forest will be in high spirits after beating Premier League bottlers Newcastle United earlier in the week with the Newcastle supporters seeking to start rivalry with United because they are so desperate to be recognised as something they are not – a brilliant team. Bless them.

United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Villa 3-2 W, West Ham 2-0 L, Liverpool 0-0 D, Bayern 1-0 L, Bournemouth 3-0 L, Chelsea 2-1 W

Goals: 6 – Rasmus Hojlund, Scott McTominay, 5 – Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, 4 – Casemiro, 2 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Hannibal Mejbri, Raphael Varane

Assists: 5 – Bruno Fernandes, 4 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Christian Eriksen, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Casemiro, Diogo Dalot, Jonny Evans, Alejandro Garnacho, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Lisandro Martínez, Scott McTominay, Mason Mount, Facundo Pellistri, Luke Shaw

Forest – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Newcastle 3-1 W, Bournemouth 3-2 L, Spurs 2-0 L, Wolves 1-1 D, Fulham 5-0 L, Everton 1-0 L

Goals: 7 – Chris Wood, 4 – Taiwo Awoniyi, Anthony Elanga, 1 – Ola Aina, Willy Boly, Nicolás Domínguez, Morgan Gibbs-White, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Orel Mangala, Harry Toffolo

Assists: 5 – Anthony Elanga, 3 – Morgan Gibbs-White, Harry Toffolo, 2 – Sèrge Aurier, Taiwo Awoniyi, 1 – Ola Aina, Murillo, Neco Williams, Chris Wood

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Forest have met 13 times in the Premier League. United have won 10 times, drawn two times with Forest winning once. United have scored 39 goals; winning one penalty, scoring it. Forest have scored eight goals; not yet winning a penalty. A one-sided encounter you would think!

United have kept seven clean sheets and Forest have kept none. Forest seem to relish playing United and discipline has been a problem. United players have been shown 21 yellow cards and no red cards with Forest players shown 27 yellow cards and one red card.

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, Dean Henderson and Anthony Elanga have played for United and Forest.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez (ankle/foot), Harry Maguire (groin/hip/pelvic), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Casemiro (thigh) and Amad Diallo (knee) have been ruled out due to injury. Jadon Sancho is still suspended by the club. United seem to be nearing the end of their injury crisis – which is a good thing.

Mason Mount (calf/shin/heel), Victor Lindelof (groin/hip/pelvic), Luke Shaw (muscular), Sofyan Amrabat (muscular), Amad Diallo (knee) and Anthony Martial (illness) all have 25% chances of being involved this weekend but it might be too early for both Mount and Lindelof.

Taiwo Awoniyi (groin/hip/pelvic), Felipe de Almeida Monteiro (muscular) and Serge Aurier (calf/shin/heel) have all been ruled out through injury. Willy Boly is back after suspension and could start against United but Ibrahim Sangare is suspended and will return in the New Year.

Predicted United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1


Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Shaw;

Mainoo, Eriksen;

Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford;


Predicted Forest Starting XI – 4-2-3-1


Montiel, Murillo, Boly, Aina;

Danilo, Mangala;

Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi;


Match Prediction

United did well against Villa on Boxing Day and have shown the belief to win from 2-0 down and have no excuses for the remainder of the season. United do have a massive injury problem which is nearing the end and in the New Year they will be much stronger in all areas of the pitch.

With the January transfer window opening soon, United could also address problem areas, such as the defence and the attack. But the creativity problems also need to be addressed as there is no point having good attacking players with no creativity in the squad – it would be counterproductive.

Against Forest, United will need to watch out as they will be on the new manager bounce and will be seeking to get three points so they don’t end up in another relegation battle this season. United sit in sixth place at the time of writing with Forest in 16th place – two points clear of the relegation zone.

Nottingham Forest 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2195 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.