Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United – Match Preview & Prediction

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Manchester United are getting ready for the fifth round FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and here is everything you need to know ahead of the Wednesday night clash.

Team News

Injuries have hit Nottingham Forest hard, with Ibrahim Sangare, Willy Boly, and Ola Aina all nursing undisclosed ailments acquired during Africa Cup of Nations duties. Their return remains uncertain, leaving a void in the team’s lineup. Meanwhile, Chris Wood remains sidelined with a hamstring issue. Nuno Tavares sustained an unspecified injury in a recent clash against West Ham, sidelining him for the subsequent match against Aston Villa. In the front side of the lineup, Divock Origi eyes a starting position, potentially displacing Taiwo Awoniyi, who only managed to play the first half in the previous match due to fitness concerns. Origi could find support in attack from ex-Manchester United player Anthony Elanga, alongside Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Manchester United, on the other hand, face a barrage of injury setbacks as Maguire finds himself sidelined with an undisclosed problem, adding to the woes of an already depleted squad. Joining him in the treatment room are Rasmus Hojlund, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Anthony Martial, and Mason Mount, each nursing various injuries ranging from muscle strains to knee and groin issues. This means Erik Ten Hag will have to be creative over his left-back spot, with either Victor Lindelof remaining the option, or putting Sofyan Amrabat in a new role. Also, in midfield, Scott McTominay or Christian Eriksen could step in and start alongside Casemiro.

Form Guide

Nottingham Forest are not doing so great right now. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team managed to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup, but even there they had to struggle. A 2-2 draw against Blackpool in third round was followed only by a penalty shoot-out win, before another 0-0 draw against Bristol City and another penalty shoot-out win in the replay. In fact, Nottingham Forest’s only win in regular 90 minutes came 10 days ago against West Ham, a 2-0 victory in the league, their only league win in 2024. It is no wonder then everyone at the club is worried about their campaign. Forest are 17th in the Premier League, just four points above relegation-threatened Luton Town. They did well to reach this stage of the FA Cup, but it is easy to assume no one will be worried if they go out of the competition on Wednesday night, as they will have more time to focus on staying in the Premier League.

Man United had won five consecutive matches in all competitions, and had six wins and a draw in their first seven matches in 2024, but it all ended last weekend in the Premier League. A shocking 2-1 loss to Fulham at Old Trafford further highlighted just how far Man United are from where they want to be and how fragile they are throughout this campaign. Even when they were on that match-winning run, they almost never felt completely in control, often conceding way to easily and having to struggle a great deal before securing victories. The Fulham match was another example of Erik Ten Hag’s team allowing opposition way too many opportunities and that will have to change at the City Ground on Wednesday.

Predicted Outcome

Considering everything, we predict Manchester United will beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 and reach the quarterfinals of the illustrous competition.

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