Man United vs Nottingham Forest Pick & Prediction | Premier League Odds
Sebastian Frej/Getty. Pictured: Raphael Varane.
Man United vs Nottingham Forest Odds
|Man United Odds||-334|
|Nottingham Forest Odds||+700|
|Over / Under|
-119 / +106
Man United will look to put a first defeat of the season behind them on Saturday when they host a Nottingham Forest side that appears to be improving in its second season back in the Premier League.
Whether you believe Man U were deserving of their 2-0 loss at Tottenham Hottspur last Saturday depends on your footballing ideology. Yes, the Red Devils created as many good chances as they allowed. But they were also wasteful to an almost negligent degree, a crime generally punished at this level.
Meanwhile, Forest are proving to be fairly clinical two games into the new season, having scored on half of their six efforts on target. That includes substitute Chris Wood's 89th-minute match-winner in a 2-1 home win over Sheffield United to lift the curtain on match day 2 last Friday.
United won all four meetings between these sides across all competitions last season, outscoring Forest 10-0 combined over those games.
Here is my Man United vs Nottingham Forest pick ahead of their Premier League fixture.
The Red Devils may have finished their 2-0 defeat to Spurs with the greater xG value, but it was very much a tale of two halves.
United generated two-thirds of their 2.1 xG created before the interval, which saw the teams still knotted 0-0. Bruno Fernandes missed the match's biggest chance when he inexplicably sent a wide-open header several feet off target when he even might have had time to chest the ball down to his feet.
Spurs were much better after the break, taking the lead through Pape Matar Sar's open volley on the first chance for either side in the second half. Lisandro Martinez's 83rd minute-own goal sealed Man U's fate.
While it marked the continuation of the Red Devils' away struggles from last season, the home form from a season ago suggests a far more doable task on Saturday. It's now 31 games unbeaten for Manchester United in all competitions in a run that extends back to early September of 2022.
Taiwo Awiniyi scored his second goal in as many games early, then Wood thumped home another header late to seal the three points for Forest against the Blades, one of this season's three newly promoted sides last Friday.
In between, there were stretches where Forest looked unsure just how to handle a Premier League fixture where the impetus to create the game was on them, and not a Sheffield United team that is lacking in attacking pieces right now.
That provided a route back into the game for the Blades, who eventually leveled through Gustavo Hamer's exceptional strike from distance. And when Wood finally reached the end of Serge Aurier's service to head home the winner, it was Forest's first shot of any sort in 16 minutes.
The match represented a good showing for United States No. 1 Matt Turner in his second start for his new club. His excellent, 78th-minute denial of Benie Adama Traore on a chance with a better than 50-50 post-shot xG value allowed the Trees to go on and win.
Man United vs Nottingham Forest
Pick & Prediction
What differentiated Manchester United last season from other sides with strong home form is manager Erik Ten Hag's men rarely piled on the goals after going in front of overmatched opponents.
The simple explanation is an unclear identity at center forward despite an improved squad. The summer signing of Rasmus Hojlund is supposed to solve that, but his introduction has been delayed and won't be coming this weekend. Forest's Awoniyi would step into Man U's dressing room and immediately be the best option in the role.
Meanwhile, Forest seem to have taken a genuine step forward since their last meeting against Man U in April, having scored in every league match since that 3-0 home defeat. The xG totals didn't reflect that improvement last season, but they have through two games of the new campaign.
So, fade United here? Not exactly. But I think you can fade the possibility of a true blowout here by playing the same-game parlay on the Red Devils to grind out a victory in a game with three or fewer goals. At +125 odds and an implied 44.4% probability, you're backing a wager that cashed in all four of these teams' meetings a season ago, and in seven of Man U's 10 home games against bottom-half finishers.
But I wouldn't go much lower than that number, and certainly not beneath even money.