Manchester United v Nottingham Forest Cheat Sheet
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
Fans of Manchester United and Nottingham Forest have the extra day to wait before their teams swing back into action at Old Trafford following the World Cup in Qatar. The competition has effected the home side more than Forest, with most of their starting XI featuring including both centre halves making the world cup final. Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane shouldn’t feature today but the likes of Antony could see the field again.
For the visitors, they had 5 players called up to various world cup squads with Brennan Johnson, Neco Williams and Wayne Hennessey making the Welsh squad. Remo Freuler and Cheikhou Kouyate also made it to Qatar but the majority of this deep Forest squad were given a rest. In the relegation zone with less than a point a game, Forest need to turn their fortunes around but don’t restart with the easiest fixture here.
This game should be entertaining with most United players excelling at the World Cup and Forest playing without fear on their first game back. Tuesday Night football doesn’t have the usual ring to it but sounds perfect for a bet builder.
Manchester United are by far the better team on paper and the field in this matchup. Forest have been shambolic away and United should coast home in this game with ease. Valued at 1.83, United to win by 2 or more is great value to kick start this bet.
I mentioned Forest have a poor away record, but with 1 goal in 7 games this cannot be stressed enough. In just their away games, they have a goal difference of -18, worse than any sides combined goal difference home and away. One of two sides without an away win, most sides should be targeting Nottingham Forest for an easy 3 points at home.
United have many reasons to be optimistic on Tuesday, not just due to Forest’s away record. Conceding just 4 goals at Old Trafford this season and with 13 points from 6, United are starting to make home look more like the early Premier League days of dominance. Ten Hag’s 4-2-3-1 has seen United hold just over 50% possession but have far more quality with the ball. Higher average pass completion rate leads to higher chances created, shown by United outscoring opponents on xG 1.72 – 1.14 and shots per 90 15.25 – 9.8.
Ten Hag is doing more than just getting results for United, he’s developing individuals and finding them a role. This United side is too strong for Forest, and I expect them to run away with it, particularly in the second half when they have the talent to bring off the bench.
25 year old midfielder, Ryan Yates, has been an ever present in the Nottingham Forest midfield with almost 1600 minutes in the 22/23 season. A combative midfielder, Yates averages the third highest fouls per 90 with 2.43 in the Premier League this season per my cheat sheet. The only two with more are Casemiro and Scott McTominay, this should be a feisty midfield battle.
Playing on the right side of Forest’s 3 man midfield, Yates can expect to cover Eriksen and Bruno’s progressive runs as they drift left to link up with either Garnacho or Rashford dependant on who gets the nod. With winger Antony expected to get the nod on the right, this will decrease the space available as United run inverted wingers, therefore leading to more action in the central areas. In 3 games since the World Cup, Yates has had 1, 2, and 3 fouls. 2 or more at odds of 2.3 is exceptional value.
Tenacious right back Neco Williams is another candidate for fouls in this Forest lineup and system. Averaging 2.41 tackles and 1.58 fouls per 90 according to my cheat sheet, Williams is often central to the action defensively. With 10 years in the Liverpool academy, and 3 years professionally, Williams has grown up dreaming of victory at Old Trafford and he now has his opportunity following his £17 million move to Forest.
Against England at the World Cup, Williams committed one foul, which was drawn by United’s left back Luke Shaw. Shaw and Rashford both rank in the top 5 for fouls drawn on the Cheat Sheet, as does Anthony Martial, United’s striker who favours drifting to his natural left sided position. With Forest favouring a naturally narrow formation, this overload could lead to multiple Williams fouls, but he should record at least one on Tuesday night.
Playing 90 minutes in all but one of Brazil’s World Cup games, Casemiro demonstrated his quality as an essential part of the South American’s system. Despite an underwhelming campaign in terms of results, Casemiro did notch up a goal to back up his excellent performances before demonstrating versatility by slotting in at centre half for the carabao cup tie on Wednesday.
For this final leg, I am looking at Casemiro’s passing numbers and for hit to attempt over 70 against Forest. There is a small chance Casemiro lines up as a centre half again which should see him sail over 70 passes but in his more natural midfield position, I like 70+. Forest average just 40.3% possession which should mean midfielders hit higher passing numbers against them. United also deploy a high press which should pin Forest back, allowing their midfielders more opportunity to get a foot on the ball.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *