Manchester United host familiar foes Brentford at Old Trafford in Saturday’s lunchtime encounter, knowing nothing but maximum points will suffice following their abysmal run of form.
The Red Devils suffered yet another disappointing night on the continental stage in their last outing, emerging on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline in their Champions League fixture against Galatasaray.
The defeat means Erik ten Hag’s side have now lost three home games in a row across all competitions, further piling the pressure on the Dutch manager, whose job security has already come under question.
Their defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League means the Red Devils have lost back-to-back league games at Old Trafford, which is as many as they did in their previous 34 matches on home turf (W25, D7).
Brentford’s visit on Saturday offers Man United a chance to set the record straight, considering they’ve not lost three on the trot on home soil in the division since February 1979.
The Bees travel to Manchester on the back of a disheartening run of form, having failed to win any of their previous five fixtures across all competitions.
Thomas Frank’s side were held to a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest last weekend, meaning the Bees are still searching for only their second win of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign.
While Brentford are eager to pile on Man United’s misery, they should be wary of the threat from Marcus Rashford despite the Englishman’s five-game-long goal drought.
Each of Rashford’s last four Premier League goals for Man United have come against London-based clubs – a run that started with him netting the winner in this exact fixture last season.
Man United have won three of their four Premier League meetings with Brentford (L1), beating them in both home games without conceding (3-0 in 2021/22, 1-0 last season).
However, the Red Devils have every cause to be worried, given they have lost all three of their league meetings with London-based clubs this season (v Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Crystal Palace).
Not since September 1986 have they lost four consecutive matches against clubs from the capital, but Man United’s recent form offers little inspiration that they can turn their fortunes around.
Ten Hag’s side have conceded first in each of their last three league games on home soil (W1, L2) – only twice have they gone behind in four consecutive league matches at Old Trafford (February/March 2014 and July/September 2020).
Since beating Man United 3-1 at Old Trafford in February 1937, Brentford have suffered defeats in each of their last five visits to the Theatre of Dreams in all competitions.
Having lost each of their first four league games against the two Manchester clubs combined, Brentford boast a strong record against the Manchester twins, winning three of their four league matches against them.
However, the Bees will need to solidify their defence if they intend to thwart Man United on home soil, considering they’ve won just one of the five league games in which they’ve taken the lead this season (D4).
They’ve drawn their last three consecutive games after scoring first, while no side has dropped more points from winning positions in the Premier League this term than the Bees (8).
Manchester United potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, Sofyan Amrabat; Casemiro, Mason Mount; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Rasmus Hojlund.
Brentford potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Mark Flekken; Mads Roerslev, Nathan Collins, Ethan Pinnock, Aaron Hickey; Mathias Jensen, Christian Norgaard, Vitaly Janelt; Bryan Mbeumo, Neal Maupay, Yoane Wissa.
We Say: Manchester United 1-0 Brentford
Three points are imperative for Man United as they return to Premier League action with Ten Hag’s future at Old Trafford hanging in the balance.
Considering Brentford’s poor form when visiting the Red Devils, we can envisage Ten Hag’s side snatching a narrow victory on home turf.
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