Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Manchester United won 5 of the last 6 games, was it a short-term insight or the team finally got out of the crisis?

Nottingham Forest FC will host Manchester United FC in the Emirates FA Cup 5th round match at the City Ground Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, February 29, beginning at 01:15 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Nottingham Forest News & Current Form: 

In the current draw of the FA Cup the team from Nottingham started from the stage of 1/32 final, where they faced Blackpool FC. It was a very hot and tense confrontation, which ended with the victory of Nottingham Forest in the second match of the replay. The first match ended in a 2:2 draw at the Reds’ home arena. It was the hosts who managed to save the game and to make a comeback after they were losing (0:2), having conceded two goals in the first half. 

One goal was scored at the end of the first half by Nicolás Domínguez, and Morgan Gibbs-White equalized at the beginning of the second half. In the second match Nottingham led in the score (2:0) by 46 minutes of the match, but allowed the opponent to play back and bring the game into extra time. And there at the beginning of the second half, Forest were able to put a point in the match after the winning goal of Wood with a pass from Ryan Yates.

Top scorer of Nottingham Forest FC will miss the fixture with Manchester United due to an injury

In the next stage of the 1/16 finals there were again 2 difficult meetings with Bristol City FC. The first of them with a minimum number of chances ended in a draw (0:0), and in the second managed to beat Nottingham already in a penalty shootout (5:3). And the regular time of the game then ended in a draw (1:1), where the Reds scored a quick goal on 8 minutes of the match, to which the opponent 6 minutes later responded to it.

But in the Premier League the Trees are not doing very well and they now occupy a modest 16th place in the standings, having 24 points after 26 rounds played. And only 4 points separate them from the relegation zone, where now on the 18th line Luton Town FC, which in addition has 1 game in reserve. From the top ten Nottingham team has a gap of 12 points.

The team managed to score 34 times in the championship and this is the 15th in the league, and the most goals on the account of Chris Wood (8 goals). It is Wood who is the best scorer of the team in the EPL with eight goals, another goal he scored in the FA Cup. However, his injury does not allow the forward to play in the upcoming match. The team has conceded a lot (48 goals) and this is only the 17th result in the EPL.

In the last 5 rounds of the EPL Nottingham Forest could get only 4 points, winning 1 match and achieving one draw, while losing 3 meetings, for example against Newcastle United FC with a score of 2:3 on their own field.

Taking into account that the opponents were mostly teams from the top of the EPL standings, the results can be called pretty good. In addition, in all the lost matches the Reds imposed a struggle and left a very pleasant impression.

They managed to get the victory in the home match of the 25th round with a strong West Ham United FC (2:0), scoring a goal in the end of each of the halves, the authors of which were Taiwo Awoniyi and Callum Hudson-Odoi. And the victory was for the hosts deserved, after all, they created more dangerous chances and gave little to create the opponent.

And in the last EPL match Forest lost to Aston Villa FC (2:4). The sharp attacking opponent was countered by a tight defense in the middle zone and on their own half of the pitch. The Birmingham side took a three goal lead in the opening 39 minutes, but Moussa Niakhate and Gibbs-White scored a goal after the break. However, Leon Bailey restored the advantage of the Yellow and Blues after the hour mark and finally killed the intrigue in the match. 

As evidenced, Nottingham Forest benefited from the change of head coach. Many feared that Nuno Espirito Santo would put an emphasis on playing from the second-choice defense and the spectacularity of the team’s matches would decrease. This would be typical for the Portuguese specialist, but he decided to use a different approach. 

As a result, the meetings of the Trees with sharp attacking opponents turn out to be productive. Nuno’s team goes into a tight defense in the middle zone. This doesn’t save them from 2-3 conceded goals, but they usually score 1-2 goals. 

The team is still missing key striker Chris Wood (8 goals), as well as left winger Nuno Tavares – both are injured. Divock Origi will claim the center-forward position in place of Taiwo Awoniyi, who played only 45 minutes against Villa and was replaced due to a minor injury. 

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Manchester United News & Current Form: 

In the FA Cup of the current season Manchester United so far perform confidently and played at each of the stages one meeting. In the starting stage of the playoffs 1/32 finals, the Manchester team managed to confidently beat Wigan Athletic FC away (2:0). 

They scored a goal in each of the halves and many times more created dangerous moments at the gates of the opponent, to 14 shots in the gate from MU, his opponent responded with only two strikes. And the guests controlled the ball 2 times more than Wigan (67% to 33%). And goals from Diogo Dalot from the game and Bruno Fernandes with a penalty decided the outcome of the game.

In the next stage of the 1/16 finals the Red Devils went to visit the team Newport County AFC, which was able to beat them with a score of 4:2. And the meeting itself turned out to be difficult for the Manchester team, after all, the opponent was able to get back from the score (0:2) and tickle their nerves. But the class of players of the visiting team still took its toll and they were able to add and press their rival in the last third of the match, scoring 2 unanswered goals through the efforts of Antony and Rasmus Højlund.

Rasmus Højlund scored 7 goals in the last 6 games, but got injured recently

In the EPL, the team from Manchester is not going smoothly, but still there are successes in recent meetings, where in the last 5 rounds they managed to gain 12 points and get closer to the top five. In February, the Reds pleased fans with positive performances – wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (4:3), West Ham (3:0), Aston Villa and Luton Town (2:1 in the last two meetings). 

Now MU occupy the 6th line in the championship table and put 44 points in their piggy bank. They are separated from the neighbor at the top of the table Tottenham Hotspur FC by only 3 points, but the Londoners have 1 more game in reserve.

Manchester United are demonstrating rather poor form for them in attack in the EPL  and scored only 36 goals to their opponents in 26 games and this is only the 10th indicator in the league. They conceded the same amount (36 goals) and it is the sixth rate in the championship.

In their last 26th round the wards of Erik ten Hag suffered a defeat (1:2) at home from the midfielder of the championship Fulham FC. Manchester United were the first to concede, but managed to equalize at the end of the match through the effort of Harry Maguire. It would seem that the teams had already agreed on a draw and everything was going to the end of the match, but the opponent did not agree with it and snatched victory in 7 minutes of extra time.

The indicators seem great, but the defeat in the meeting with Fulham is very stressful. Firstly, the Cottagers beat Manchester United for the first time since December of 2009. Secondly, the defeat was the club’s 10th in the current EPL draw. It is the fifth time it has lost at least 10 meetings in the English Premier League in a single season since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as mentor in 2013.

Coach ten Hag has just eradicated instability and the team scored a number of important points, as Højlund got injured. The Dane has picked up a great form and became the leading player of MU, in the last six games in the EPL he scored seven goals and gave one assist. 

Ten Hag will have to do without the talented striker in the near future. It is reported that he is in the infirmary for about two or three weeks. After the defeat against Fulham, the Dutch coach said that the team showed character, but many would disagree with him.

Also still missing from the squad are defenders Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, midfielder Mason Mount and Tyrell Malacia, all of whom are still recovering from health problems. In the absence of the Dane, Marcus Rashford came to the forefront of the attack last weekend, without much impact.

Nottingham Forest form guide: L-D-W-L-W-L

Manchester United form guide: W-W-W-W-W-L

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Head-To-Head Record:

Nottingham ForestDrawManchester United
  • April 16, 2023: Nottingham Forest 0 – 2 Manchester United (Premier League);
  • August 26, 2023: Manchester United 3 – 2 Nottingham Forest (Premier League);
  • December 30, 2023:  Nottingham Forest 2 – 1 Manchester United (Premier League).

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Predicted XI:

Nottingham Forest’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Sels; Montiel, Felipe, Murillo, Niakhate; Danilo, Dominguez; Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Origi.

Manchester United’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Varane, Evans, Lindelof; McTominay, Mainoo; Forson, Fernandes, Garnacho; Rashford.

Statistical preview of the match Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United:

  • Forest’s First XI average age is 25.2 years, MU’s First XI average age is 26.6 years.
  • The total value of Forest’s squad is 359 mln euros, while the total of Manchester United comes up to 735 mln euros.
  • Chris Kavanagh has been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served 20 games this season, showing an average of 4 Yellow Cards and also whistles 21 fouls per game. 
  • Nottingham Forest have scored at least one goal in their last 6 matches in all competitions, and at least two goals in the last 3 meetings in the EPL.
  • Manchester United have won 5 of their last 6 matches in all competitions and have scored at least two goals in 7 of their last 8 meetings.
  • United have consistently scored against Nottingham Forest in 18 head-to-head meetings. 
  • Erik ten Hag’s side have won 5 away matches in a row. Nottingham Forest, on the contrary, have won only two of their last ten home matches in regulation time. 
  • Nottingham won only one of the last eight official matches in terms of corner kicks earned.
  • In terms of the number of yellow cards, the hosts go on a series of eight consecutive defeats on their field.
  • Only 46% of matches involving Manchester United in the EPL have seen both sides score goals – the fourth-from-bottom figure in the league. 
  • The Trees have scored 12 goals in their last 7 home meetings, conceding the same amount in return.

What has been said before the match:

Gaffer of Nottingham Forest Nuno Espirito Santo ahead of the fixture with the Red Devils:

“We didn’t start the game well against Aston Villa. We conceded easy goals. This is what we are trying to understand and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“It is useful for us to look at the previous games, knowing it is not going to be a repeat. It is going to be a new one on Wednesday, new things will happen.  But we want to go for the game. We want to continue in the FA Cup and give great joy and happiness to our fantastic fans.”

“The fans can make a big difference. Playing at home is always very good for us. Since the beginning, the support of the fans and the noise of the City Ground has been very helpful.”

“It is finding the balance. Nobody doubts that going forward we are doing things well, because we are scoring and creating chances, we have good momentum and good play. But at the same time we have to improve, because football is made of offense and defense. Being compact and solid has to be our main target.”

“Manchester United are still a good team with a good squad. We’re facing tough opponents. They have good solutions if they have problems, like Marcus Rashford, and very good players. But this is something we are positive about. We’re at the City Ground. We’ll give it our best.”

Erik ten Hag, main coach of Manchester United FC, about his team’s recent results and the importance of FA Cup:

“First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments. Very good advice, some are very subjective. Probably in the first half an hour, yeah, he had a point. Fulham in their midfield set up surprised us a little bit and then we have to find the solutions. After half an hour we found the solutions.”

“I was not pleased with the performance with the defending, especially on the left side, how we did the pressing because they came out, especially in the first half an hour. Several times on the left side and that can’t happen and that has to do with willingness, spirit, passion. That was in the previous weeks very good for this team and therefore, we won football games.”

“I know footballers are not robots, sometimes they have bad days. But it can’t be, it’s unacceptable, we have to do better tomorrow but in the weeks before we have done very well.”

“New players need some time but they also have to know in top football you don’t get time, you have to perform. When you come in you have to show it. But as a manager, I know they need the time, that is the paradox. I will give them the time, I believe in these players.”

“When you are unbeaten for January and February, then you lose one game. Obviously it was a poor performance, poor defeat. We want to stay in every competition. That doesn’t change our approach, because that is for every match.”

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Prediction:

Foresters have traditionally been a convenient opposition for the Red Devils: over the past year and a half, the opponents have played six head-to-head meetings, in which the Mancunians secured five victories with a total score of 13:2. Despite the recent slip-up against Fulham, Erik ten Hag’s men are still the favorites for the clash. They have been on an excellent run in recent weeks (6 wins, 1 draw, and 1 defeat in their last 8 matches in all competitions), and they play even better away than at home (4th in the league in terms of points gained away and only 8th if we consider home matches). In 2024, they have a perfect away record: in five games Man Utd have won five times. On the other hand, Nottingham are unimpressive at home – only 2 wins in regulation time in 10 previous matches in this tournament and in the championship.

The productivity of Manchester United’s attack in this stretch is worth paying special attention to. In the last five away games, Erik ten Hag’s men have scored 14 goals (2.80 average per game) – a solid performance. What’s more, a total of 21 goals (4.20 average per game) have been registered in that span. Against the Foresters, they are also prolific in attack, having scored 14 goals (2.33 average per game) in their last six head-to-head battles. Foresters have conceded an average of 1.6 goals per game in their last 5 matches at the City Ground Stadium in all competitions, while having scored the same amount. Along with that, we should also take into account that Nottingham have potentially one of the best defenses at home – 14.36 per xGA – 4th in the league. But in fact the team has conceded twenty. Meanwhile, such productivity from Man Utd has been more of an overperformance of late, riding on the good form of Højlund and Garnacho. The Dane is injured and will not take part in this match. As to what happens without him, we saw in their last game in the EPL. Rashford and Anthony are in terrible condition, and Garnacho alone is clearly not enough. Relying on the points made above, we expect that the teams will produce no more than 4 goals in the clash, where Manchester United will not lose in regulation time.

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Manchester United will not lose in regulation time and the match total will be less than 4.5 – Yes.

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