Preview: United to bounce back against Brentford? Hunger, desire & a winning mentality needed! Martial to start?

United need to start making their positive season count after Newcastle defeat

Manchester United -v- Brentford

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 5 April 2023, KO 20:00 GMT

Manchester United welcome Brentford to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Wednesday evening as United look to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday. United manager Erik ten Hag will also need to bounce back from a 4-0 defeat to Brentford at the start of the season so this will become a tough match for United. Brentford have done well this season and ahead of Wednesday’s match they sit in seventh place in the Premier League.

United were pushed into fourth place in the Premier League on Sunday following their defeat to the Magpies then slipped into fifth after the match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur ended in a 1-1 draw. There are six matches in the league to be played midweek which will start to level up the number of matches played from previously postponed matches earlier this season. United have a busy month ahead of them with eight more matches including this one.

Brentford drew 3-3 with Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend – leading three times in the match which shows how much of an attacking team they are. If the United that turned up against the Magpies plays, United will be seeking to bounce back on Saturday when they face Everton at Old Trafford. On paper, United should be winning these matches and pushing themselves into finishing in the top four in the Premier League and seeking to win two more trophies.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Newcastle United 2-0 L, Fulham 3-1 W, Real Betis 1-0 W, Southampton 0-0 D, Real Betis 4-1 W, Liverpool 7-0 L

Goals: 27 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Antony, 6 – Fred, Anthony Martial, 5 – Casemiro, Own Goal, Jadon Sancho, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 2 – Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer, Luke Shaw

Assists: 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Christian Eriksen, 7 – Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, 6 – Casemiro, 4 – Fred, Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Wout Weghorst, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, 1 – Antony, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Brentford – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Brighton and Hove Albion 3-4 D, Leicester City 1-1 D, Southampton 2-0 W, Everton 1-0 L, Fulham 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 1-1 D

Goals: 18 – Ivan Toney, 5 – Mathias Jensen, Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa, 3 – Josh Dasilva, Vitaly Janelt, Ben Mee, 2 – Ethan Pinnock, 1 – Pontus Jansson, Keane Lewis-Potter, Christian Nørgaard, Mads Bech Sørensen

Assists: 5 – Mathias Jensen, Bryan Mbeumo, Ivan Toney, 3 – Christian Nørgaard, 2 – Josh Dasilva, Rico Henry, Yoane Wissa, 1 – Shandon Baptiste, Mikkel Damsgaard, Vitaly Janelt, Keane Lewis-Potter, Ben Mee, Frank Onyeka, Kevin Schade

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Brentford have met three times in the Premier League in the history of both clubs. United have won twice and lost once. United have scored six goals, winning one penalty, scoring it. Brentford have scored five goals, not winning a penalty against United yet. United have kept one clean sheet with Brentford also keeping one clean sheet. earlier in the season, Brentford beat United 4-0 and this time, United will need to ensure that does not happen again.

Despite just three Premier League matches being played between the two clubs, United players have been shown five yellow cards and no red cards. Brentford players are yet to be booked against United. Ten Hag will be well aware of what Brentford can do – having managed the club in their biggest defeat against Brentford in the Premier League with a 4-0 defeat also happening in the old League Division One back in 1936. Lightning does not need to strike twice here.

Christian Eriksen, Joshua Bohui and Max Haygarth are the only three players who have played for both United and Brentford. Eriksen had a six-month contract last season, becoming a free agent this summer. Bohui came through the youth ranks at Brentford and Haygarth did the same at United. Eriksen has been a revelation for United this season and has been a big miss after than ankle injury back in January. He is getting closer to returning which is a great time for United.

Team News

Donny van de Beek (knee), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle) and Tom Heaton (ankle) have all been ruled out due to injury. Casemiro is suspended for the next two matches (Brentford and Everton) having been suspended for four matches following his sending off against Southampton. Christian Eriksen (ankle) is progressing in stepping up his return from injury but he currently has a 25% chance of featuring against his former club. There is a chance he could play a part against Everton.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka missed the defeat to Newcastle through illness and should be hopeful of returning to the starting XI against Brentford. Anthony Martial also made his long-awaited return from his latest injury against the Magpies and he could be in a position to start against Brentford. Fred could start ahead of Scott McTominay in midfield following the defeat to Newcastle but United will not have much midfield reinforcement on the bench. Casemiro is a big miss.

Vitaly Janelt (knee), Kristoffer Ajer (calf) and Keane Lewis-Potter (knee) have all been ruled out of the visit to the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday evening. Shandon Baptiste was suspended for the last match after his two yellow cards saw him sent off in the 1-1 draw to Leicester City prior to the international break. He will be eligible to face United on Wednesday evening. Brentford will be full of confidence heading into this match knowing that they destroyed United in August.

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

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Fred, Sabitzer;

Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Predicted Brentford Starting XI – 5-3-2

Raya;

Hickey, Jansson, Pinnock, Mee, Henry;

Damsgaard, Nørgaard, Jensen;

Mbeumo, Toney

Match Prediction

United have two things to bounce back from in this match – the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle on Sunday and the 4-0 defeat to Brentford earlier in the season. United need to start winning these matches. The performance against the Magpies was not good enough which shows that United require strength in depth to get through the season show the work that will need to be done in the summer. Erik ten Hag will not be happy with what he saw on Sunday and will demand more.

United have had a busy season and that looks set to continue with a total of nine matches in April with the Premier League clash with Chelsea yet to be rearranged after it was postponed because of United’s participation in the Emirates FA Cup. United have played around every three days since the FIFA World Cup ended and the international break started so fatigue will no doubt be a big problem with some players but United’s strength is not that good at this stage of the season.

With Casemiro and Christian Eriksen out of action due to suspension and injury, United’s midfield is at the same level as it was last season with the addition of Marcel Sabitzer, who was added on loan in the January transfer window. United need to get stuck into the match and try and dominate so the ball can be played forward with those in attacking positions busting a gut to find the much-needed goals United need to win their matches. This is not going to be an each match at all.

Manchester United 2-1 Brentford

Written by John Walker

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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.