Man Utd will aim to return to winning ways when it takes on Brentford for a Premier League clash in west London on Wednesday.
Brentford vs. Manchester United
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Brentford Community Stadium
The Red Devils remain seventh in the Premier League table after a disappointing 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend.
Two goals from Portuguese superstar Bruno Fernandes handed Man Utd a commanding lead, but Steven Gerrard’s men hit back in the closing stages of the game. Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to set up a goal for Jacob Ramsey and then fire in a late equalizer.
It means that Man Utd now has just one win in its last four Premier League games. The Red Devils trail league leader Man City by 24 points, and they are five points off a top four spot.
The situation improved temporarily after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired, but interim boss Ralf Rangnick has struggled to keep the momentum going in recent weeks. He will be desperate for a win on Wednesday, and Brentford could prove an obliging opponent.
Bees Lose Their Sting
The Bees have lost four of their last five games. The poor run of form began with a 2-0 defeat to Brighton at the Amex on December 26, which was Brighton’s first victory in several months.
Brentford then lost 1-0 to Man City. It bounced back with a 2-1 win against Aston Villa, but it has lost 4-1 to Southampton and 3-0 to Liverpool in the past week.
That has seen Brentford slip down to 14th in the Premier League table. The Bees are still 10 points clear of the relegation zone, so there is no immediate need to panic, but they will be desperate to turn things around as quickly as possible.
Brentford has missed key midfielder Frank Onyeka, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations. David Raya, Mathias Jorgensen and Charlie Goode are still out, but Brentford does not have many injury concerns.
Manager Thomas Frank could stick with the team that lost 3-0 to Liverpool on Sunday. However, Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo struggled in attack, as they did not receive much service from the likes of Shandon Baptiste, so Frank could turn to Yoane Wissa, Sergi Canos or Marcus Forss for more inspiration.
Man Utd will get left-back Luke Shaw and midfielder Scott McTominay back from suspension for this game. Paul Pogba is still out, but Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could all be available if they pass late fitness tests.
Rangnick imposed an unusual 4-2-2-2 formation upon Man Utd after taking the reins. It was moderately successful in narrow wins against Crystal Palace, but it was disastrous in a draw with Newcastle and a defeat to Wolves.
He abandoned the formation in a narrow 1-0 FA Cup win against Aston Villa, switching to a classic Man Utd 4-2-3-1, and he then set the players up in a 4-3-3 formation in the subsequent 2-2 Premier League draw against the same opposition.
He is likely to go with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 against Brentford, but he will hope to have Ronaldo available to make the Red Devils more dangerous in attack. Brentford is a tough nut to crack, but the Bees have been in poor form lately, and Man Utd could scrape this one.
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EPL Pick: Man Utd to win and under 4.5 goals (+105) at DraftKings
EPL Pick: Bruno Fernandes to score (+200) at Unibet