After their defeat to Tottenham, the Red Devils will look to bounce back at Old Trafford. Our Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest prediction and preview gives you all the key information.

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer predicts Erik ten Hag’s side to come out on top, with United given a 61.5% chance of success on Saturday.
  • Man Utd have won their last 10 meetings with Nottingham Forest in all competitions by an aggregate score of 36-3.
  • Forest have won just one of their 12 Premier League games against Man Utd (D2 L9), though that victory did come at Old Trafford (2-1 in December 1994).

Match Preview

Manchester United are aiming to return to winning ways after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Spurs last time out. Ten Hag’s team – like against Wolves – were far from at their best, though they might have been in with a chance of getting something from the game had Lisandro Martínez not turned into his own net late on.

Not that United did not create opportunities. They accumulated 2.1 xG to Spurs’ 1.7, having 22 shots to their hosts’ 17 and creating four big chances, but Ten Hag will be looking for improvement – especially in defence – given how open his side has looked at times.

Forest, meanwhile, took their first points of the season by overcoming Sheffield United 2-1 thanks to Chris Wood’s last-gasp header. Taiwo Awoniyi netted the opener for Steve Cooper’s team – he has now bagged in his last six Premier League appearances for Forest, scoring eight times, equalling Stan Collymore’s club record in the competition between March and April 1995.

Only two African players have ever scored in seven Premier League games in a row – Emmanuel Adebayor (December 2007 – February 2008 for Arsenal) and Mohamed Salah (August – October 2021 for Liverpool).

Having scored in Forest’s first two Premier League matches this season, Awoniyi is also looking to become the first Forest player to score in their first three top-flight matches in a season since Peter Davenport in 1984-85.

Manchester United, who are 12th in the league table as we enter Matchday 3, two places behind Forest, are nevertheless firm favourites.

Old Trafford has been something of a fortress for United under Ten Hag. After losing two of the Dutchman’s first four home games in charge across all competitions (W2), the Red Devils are unbeaten in their last 30 home games on home turf (W26 D4). It is their longest home unbeaten run since a 40-game stretch between September 2016 and December 2017. Ten Hag has never had a longer such streak in his managerial career – although he did go 30 home games without defeat between October 2018 and February 2019, over spells at Utrecht and Ajax.

United’s last home league defeat came in August last year (19 games), while Nottingham Forest lost on the road – albeit to Arsenal – in their only other away game this season. Indeed, Forest have not won on the road in the league in 11 matches.

Since the start of last season, Nottingham Forest have won just one of 20 Premier League games played away from the City Ground (D5 L14), with their 14 away defeats the most of any current top-flight side in that time. The only managers with fewer wins than Cooper’s one win in their first 20 away Premier League matches are Howard Wilkinson in 1992-93 and John Gorman in 1993-94 (zero).

United will be without Mason Mount, who won’t line up for them until after the September international break after sustaining a knock against Spurs. Rasmus Højlund, their big-money striker signing from Atalanta, is also still out of action.

Forest will be hoping Ola Aina overcomes the groin injury that saw him miss out against Sheffield United. Defender Felipe is likely to remain sidelined, though Morgan Gibbs-White and Tottenham-linked Brennan Johnson are certainly capable of threatening United on the counter-attack.

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Head-to-Head

Manchester United’s record against Nottingham Forest is strong – they won all four meetings last season (including two in the EFL Cup semi-finals) without conceding a single goal. Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial scored in two of those four meetings.

They also won their previous six encounters before 2022-23, making it 10 victories in a row for Man United against Nottingham Forest heading into this match.

Forest’s sole win in their last 12 Premier League meetings with United came at Old Trafford back in November 1994 – Stuart Pearce and Stan Collymore grabbed the goals on that occasion.

Recent Form

For a second consecutive season, Manchester United have scored just one goal after two Premier League matches, having 22 shots without scoring in their 2-0 defeat to Spurs last weekend. They had scored at least twice in their opening two games of the season in each of their previous 12 seasons before this run.

Half of United’s 22 shots in their 2-0 defeat to Spurs came via Bruno Fernandes (six) and Casemiro (five). Of the 17 players to have had five or more shots without scoring in the Premier League this season, five are from the Red Devils: Fernandes (seven), Marcus Rashford (seven), Alejandro Garnacho (seven), Antony (six) and Casemiro (five). The only Man Utd player to score so far this season has been Raphaël Varane, thanks to his header against Wolves on Matchday 1.

United have won their last seven home Premier League matches, last enjoying a longer winning run at Old Trafford between May and November 2017 (eight in a row). The last time they failed to win a top-flight match at home was against Southampton, in a 0-0 draw on 12 March. Since then they have dispatched Brentford, Everton, Aston Villa, Wolves, Chelsea, Fulham and Wolves again, by an aggregate score of 13-2.

Forest, on the other hand, have won four of their last eight Premier League games (D2 L2), one more than they managed in their previous 17 in the competition (W3 D5 L9). They are looking for consecutive league wins for the first time since January.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Prediction

Opta’s football prediction model has United as 61.5% favourites to continue their fine home form, while Forest’s chances are ranked at just 15%, leaving the draw at 23.5%.

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