Nottingham Forest vs Man United Odds, Pick | Premier League Preview
Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Nottingham Forest players huddle before a match.
Nottingham Forest vs Man United Odds
Nottingham Forest Odds
Man United Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / +100)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-134 / +110)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Manchester United has been a well below average team away from home this season and is in a tricky spot at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. The Red Devils are in a sandwich spot in the middle of their competitive Europa League matchup with Sevilla (2-2 aggregate), and are without Marcus Rashford once again. It’s the time of the year when teams get overvalued because they’re in must-win spots chasing the top four, the title or even trying to avoid relegation. As Tottenham and Newcastle showed in their losses Saturday, being in a so called “must win” situation doesn’t necessarily make a team play better.
Nottingham Forest has really struggled over the past two months and are winless since a Feb. 5 home triumph against Leeds United. In that time frame, they did manage three home draws. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest has also been outscored 13-2 in five matches away from home during that stretch. There’s a larger than normal home-field advantage split for Steve Cooper’s side, and the Trees have value at home on Sunday, despite their poor form.
Relegation is knocking on Nottingham Forest’s door as the Trees enter this match inside the bottom three. It’s hard to look at Forest’s statistical profile and remain inspired that Cooper is going to truly improve this squad. They made headlines in the offseason with the volume of their signings list, and the belief was the team would improve as the season progressed.
However, that hasn’t really been the case. Forest improved in October and November, but has been dreadful over the past two months from an underlying numbers perspective.
No attack in the league has created fewer xG than Forest since February began. In that time period, only two teams have a worse xG difference. The injury list is also lengthy and a major contributor to their 0.65 xG per match.
With all of that being said, we’re probably buying at or near the floor of the market. The goalkeeping has improved with Keylor Navas’ addition, which will be key against a United team likely to shoot more often from distance than most teams.
When these sides met in the EFL Cup semifinal, United benefitted from facing Wayne Hennessey in goal instead of loanee Dean Henderson. Now with Navas, Forest has a plus shot-stopper.
Manchester United has a -0.42 xG differential on the road per 90 minutes and even with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen returning to the team, there’s a real question of whether United will produce enough consistent shots to get margin in this matchup.
United only managed 12 shots at home against Sevilla on Thursday. Antony takes a lot of shots from distance, but Wout Weghorst, Jadon Sancho and Antony as a potential front three of attackers is light on high quality shot production. Erik ten Hag could turn to Anthony Martial to solve this problem, but he is just returning from injury and doesn’t link the play nearly as well as Weghorst.
Rashford’s red-hot form has made United look better than it actually is, and that could get exposed at Forest.
The injury to Lisandro Martinez is also a major hit to United’s ball progression and ability to play through pressure from the opposition. Martinez is the best passer amongst the United center backs and his press resistance is what has helped them break through pressure and get the ball to the forwards in space. His absence means Victor Lindelof could get exposed as his replacement. Lindelof is a capable center back, but he’s more limited and those weaknesses make United more vulnerable to conceding high turnovers and giving it away in dangerous areas.
Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Pick
Losing both Martinez and Rashford means United will be without its best attacking player and center back. Throw in Forest’s rest advantage and United’s tricky spot and you see why the market has moved so heavily toward Forest. The Red Devils opened as high as -170 on the moneyline and have been bet down to the -140/-145 range.
Without Rashford in the lineup, my projections make United just -115 to win this match, so I’m alright with buying low on Forest to get a result at home. I’d only recommend a half unit — or half of your normal wager — now that the market has moved toward Forest and the best numbers are gone.
Pick: Nottingham Forest +0.5 (+115 or Better)
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