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Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Odds, Pick, Predictions | League Cup Match Analysis (January 25)

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Odds, Pick, Predictions | League Cup Match Analysis (January 25) article feature image
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NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Morgan Gibbs-White.

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 25
3 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Nottingham Forest Odds +425
Manchester United Odds -175
Draw +265
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -115)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-120 / -106)
Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Manchester United suffered a late setback in the Premier League on Sunday via their 3-2 defeat against league leaders Arsenal. They now have a quick turnaround ahead of their best chance at winning a trophy this season.

The Red Devils have a  two-legged League Cup semifinal tie with Nottingham Forest that will be played over the next week, with the first leg away from home at the City Ground on Tuesday.

Whoever advances will face Southampton or Newcastle in the final. Nottingham Forest have seen significant improvement in their underlying numbers since about November, as manager Steve Cooper has engrained more and more of the summer signings into the team.

Forest lost the league meeting between these two sides at Old Trafford 3-0, but this is a great spot for them at home in their biggest match of the season. The Red Devils have improved greatly under manager Erik ten Hag, but there remain questions about the attacking trio while Anthony Martial is out with injury.

Nottingham Forest a Considerably Better Side at Home

Forest’s home form is a major reason why they’ve pushed on this far in the competition and why they are safe at the moment from relegation in the Premier League. They have an above-average xG difference at home at +0.09 per 90 this season.

Nottingham Forest took down both Spurs and Wolves – the latter on penalties – to reach this semifinal. The defensive organizational issues have been called into question at points this season, but they are conceding just 1.35 xGA per match at home compared to 1.72 away from home.

They’ve blossomed from one of the worst teams in the league at the beginning of the season to a slightly below-average team since November. Their xG difference since October began is -0.39 xGD per 90 as well, which is better than the -0.85 xG difference per 90 from the pre-October matches.

Forest continue to be a bet-on team and you can almost guarantee to a see a full strength 11 for them here given that they’re out of the FA Cup at the weekend and have a home semifinal against a big six side. Aside from avoiding relegation, this is the most important match of their season.

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Manchester United Come in With Lineup Questions

It’s unclear what ten Hag will do from a potential squad rotation perspective for this semifinal. United just played on Sunday in a high stakes and physical match, and the Red Devils have the second leg at home in their pocket next week. The fixture pileup is real for them, especially since Diego Dalot, Jadon Sancho and Martial remain out through injury.

United have an FA Cup match over the weekend and I’m sure that will be low-priority, but they also don’t have the depth to maintain top form if they take key players out of the lineup. An older player like Christian Eriksen could be rotated here to help save his legs, and he’s actually been a valuable member of United’s creative and ball-progression force this year.

Wout Weghorst does a nice job of linking play and coming short, but he hasn’t done much at all in terms of shot production since joining the club. In two full matches for United, he’s attempted one shot and had just four touches in the attacking penalty area.

You can start to poke holes in the United attack when you consider how little production they’re getting from Antony on the wing as well. The depth behind them is largely unproven and inconsistent while Martial and Sancho are out too.

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Nottingham Forest vs. Man United Pick

Both of these teams are trending in the right direction at the moment, but injuries and potential rotation leave United vulnerable and overvalued in this away match. Given that it is two legs, a draw would be a good result here for Manchester United. That’s because they’ll be back at home with an excellent chance to advance next week.

Forest should be all-in with this situational spot and even from a raw numbers perspective, United should be a little over a half-goal favorite, but not close to a full goal as the market is currently suggesting.

I’ll take Forest at +0.75 or +1 in this fixture.

The Pick: Nottingham Forest +0.75 (-105 via DraftKings)

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