Everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League fixture:
(1) After another memorable and mind-boggling World Cup, the Premier League returns to Old Trafford as Manchester United hosts newly promoted Nottingham Forest. United already have a game under their belt since club football resumed after the World Cup in the EFL Cup. Erik Ten Hag did some necessary changes to his side and The Reds could beat Burnley 2-0 in a comfortable outing.
(2) Manchester United holds a commendable record against Forest as they have won in their last six meetings, and this will be the first time these two sides face each other since SAF took his men to drub The Tricky Trees 8-1 back in 1999.
(3) Man United won their last Premier League before the World Cup break as goals from Christian Eriksen and Alejandro Garnacho secured a 2-1 victory in favour of the visitors against Fulham. Erik Ten Hag will resume his Premier League journey without the face of Cristiano Ronaldo whose contract had to be terminated because of his certain remarks against the club. There will be pressure on the manager to not let any slip-ups as although Ronaldo didn’t contribute much this season, a backlash is expected if United face any goalscoring issues.
(4) Ten Hag provided an update on captain Harry Maguire and the manager expects the defender to feature on Tuesday:
‘’We had some problems with illness like Harry Maguire, but he was back on the training pitch today so I’m happy with that,’’
(5) As expected, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane won’t be available for this fixture as both the players are on a recovery period after playing in the World Cup final, Erik Ten Hag confirmed their absence:
‘’Returning from Rapha Varane and Licha Martinez, they are not there [back at United] but we hope on their comeback [soon].’’
(6) Anthony Martial is back from his injury and is expected to start the game versus Forest. The Frenchman will look to continue his form from the friendlies as he dispatched a panenka against Cadiz, although The Reds lost to the Spanish side.
Martial on his panenka: "I pulled a lot of it in training and the guys said to me: 'You're not going to do that during a match' and I replied: 'Of course you do', then the opportunity arose and I scored." #MUFC pic.twitter.com/EjyVvfNKN0— UtdPlug (@UtdPlug) December 21, 2022
(7) As for Nottingham Forest, they last featured in the Premier League on November 12 when they recorded a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the City Ground. Newcomers Forest have now lost only one in their last five Premier League games which includes an underdog 1-0 win over Liverpool.
(8) Despite signing 21 players at the start of the new season, Steve Cooper hasn’t been able to steer his men through a promising first half of the season. They hold 13 points from 15 league matches and sit 18th in the table, a point short to be out of the relegation zone. Forest’s away record has been the worst among Premier League clubs this season, grabbing only two points from their seven away matches. It will be tough for manager Steve Cooper to build up an unshaken mentality for his players before facing a ruthless Old Trafford crowd.
(9) Goalkeeper Dean Henderson is ineligible to play the match as he is a loanee of United. However, United-born and bred, Jesse Lingard is eligible to start and this is expected to be the first time he features against his old club.
(10) United will be without 3 of their 4 first-team defenders and banking on their 4-1 thrashing of Blackburn, Forest will hold belief that they can come through and pull off a major upset at Old Trafford to set their season in the correct way.
(11) FPL TIP: Marcus Rashford is a must pick for this game week as he is only 6.7m, perfectly affordable among other midfielders of his calibre and possesses the ability to make an impact. Anthony Martial is highly expected to start the game and that makes him a part of the FPL team. Nico Williams is the only player from Forest who was in my team but he is out now considering much brighter players in the pack.
Here’s my FPL team for the game week for references: