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Preview: Brentford vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups
14/12/2021 10:38:10

Manchester United will travel to Brentford on Tuesday evening knowing that a victory would see them move into fourth position in the Premier League table.


The Red Devils are currently fifth in the division, one point behind fourth-placed West Ham United, while Brentford sit 10th courtesy of a 2-1 win over Watford on Friday night.


We say: Brentford 1-2 Manchester United


This has all the makings of a brilliant game of football, as Brentford will attack Man United in search of three points. The Red Devils will need to be a lot better than they were against Norwich to triumph, and we are backing the 20-time English champions to pick up another huge win courtesy of a 2-1 success.


Match preview


Brentford have won five, drawn five and lost six of their 16 Premier League matches this season to collect 20 points, which has left them in 10th position in the table, some nine points clear of the relegation zone.


The Bees appeared to be heading for a 1-0 home defeat against Watford on Friday, with Emmanuel Dennis netting in the first half for the Hornets, but Pontus Jansson levelled the scores in the 84th minute before Bryan Mbuemo hit a 96th-minute winner from the penalty spot in dramatic fashion.


The Brentford Community Stadium should therefore be bouncing on Tuesday evening, as Thomas Frank's side go in search of their sixth Premier League victory of the season and third in a row on home soil, having also overcome Everton in front of their own supporters at the end of November.


Brentford have not beaten Man United since 1938, but Tuesday's clash will be their first clash in the league since 1947, when the two sides played out a goalless draw.


Frank's team beat Arsenal on home soil on the opening weekend of the campaign and have also held Liverpool at the Brentford Community Stadium this term, and the fact that they will have had longer than their opponents to prepare for this match should stand them in good stead on Tuesday.


Man United were far from at their best against Norwich City on Saturday, but Cristiano Ronaldo's 75th-minute penalty secured a huge three points for the Red Devils, who have now been victorious in their last three Premier League matches to put themselves back in top-four contention.


Ralf Rangnick has delivered back-to-back 1-0 wins in the league since taking control of the first team, with the result run moving the team into fifth position in the table, and West Ham's draw at Burnley on Sunday means that a victory for Man United on Tuesday would move them into fourth position.


The 20-time English champions have a favourable run of fixtures to come, taking on Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Burnley before the end of the month, and January and February are also relatively kind on paper, so it will be fascinating to see where they are in the table entering March.


Man United are unbeaten in 32 of their last 34 away Premier League matches, while back-to-back clean sheets in England's top flight will also have boosted confidence ahead of this match.


Rangnick will not have been pleased with his team's performance at Norwich, though, and a similar display against an energetic Brentford could lead to them dropping important points in the top-four race.


Team News


Brentford will be able to welcome Sergi Canos back into the fold following a suspension, and it would not be a surprise to see the Spaniard replace Yoane Wissa in the final third of the field.


However, Ivan Toney is also in contention, with Frank revealing on Monday that the striker could be available for selection following a spell out with coronavirus.


The Bees still have a number of absentees, though, with Mathias Jorgensen, Kristoffer Ajer, David Raya, Tariqe Fosu-Henry, Josh Dasilva, Julian Jeanvier and Ethan Pinnock all unavailable for selection.


Aside from Wissa, Frank could name the same side that started against Watford, although Frank Onyeka is an option to come into the midfield, potentially in place of Mathias Jensen.


Man United, meanwhile, will need to assess Victor Lindelof, who was forced off with chest pains against Norwich; Rangnick said after the match that the Sweden international was fine, but it would not be a surprise to see Eric Bailly come into the side as his replacement.


Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani are both due to return to full first-team training on Monday and could be in contention, but Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial will again be unavailable.


Nemanja Matic (illness), Juan Mata (illness) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (knee) are also still doubts, so Rangnick does not have much room for change when it comes to his starting XI.


Marcus Rashford struggled to make his mark against Norwich, though, and the England international could now be replaced in the starting team by Mason Greenwood.


Rangnick's hand might be forced when it comes to team selection, though, as reports have claimed that some players and staff at the club returned positive lateral flow tests for coronavirus on Sunday.


Brentford possible starting lineup:

Fernandez; Goode, Jansson, Janelt; Rasmussen, Jensen, Norgaard, Baptiste, Henry; Mbuemo, Canos


Manchester United possible starting lineup:

De Gea; Dalot, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Fred, McTominay; Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo, Greenwood

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