Manchester United are back in action this weekend, closing out our busy festive period with an away trip to Nottingham Forest.
Erik ten Hag’s men come into this game off the back of an incredible comeback against Aston Villa at Old Trafford, where the Reds overturned a two-goal deficit to triumph 3-2 with a brace by Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund’s dramatic first Premier League strike.
The hosts, meanwhile, won 3-1 away at Newcastle United and have a new manager on the touchline in the form of Nuno Espirito Santo, following Steve Cooper’s dismissal.
While Ten Hag is expecting most of our sidelined players to return in the new year, there is chance Amad Diallo may be available for selection in our final game of 2023 at the City Ground. The Ivory Coast international has been working his way towards full fitness after suffering an injury during our pre-season endeavors in the US. The Boxing Day fixture against Villa saw returns to the starting line-up for Christian Eriksen, for the first time since November, and Raphael Varane, who missed the previous weekend’s trip to West Ham.
The Reds sadly picked up a couple of additional injury issues prior to the Villa game, with both Luke Shaw and Sofyan Amrabat absent from the squad through minor knocks. In his pre-match interview with club media, Erik ten Hag confirmed that he did not believe the pair would be out for long and a further update may become available in his press conference prior to Saturday’s game.
Forest will have defender Willy Boly back in action after serving a one-match suspension away to Newcastle - he was shown two yellow cards in the first half of their last home game, a 3-2 defeat to Bournemouth. A groin injury means striker Taiwo Awoniyi is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, where he has joined Serge Aurier, Felipe, and Ibrahim Sangare.
Saturday’s opponents were in a poor run of form before their resounding 3-1 win against Newcastle. They had picked up just one point from the start of November until their journey up to St James’ Park earlier this week. Forest will be hoping Chris Wood’s hat-trick in that game turns their fortunes around.
United have had mixed fortunes over the festive period, with an impressive draw away to Liverpool being followed by a 2-0 defeat at the London Stadium against West Ham. Then came that odds-defying comeback against Villa, despite entering the interval two goals down. Getting Hojlund off the mark in the Premier League in that game, following Garnacho’s double, should fill the Reds’ frontline with confidence.
RECORD AGAINST FOREST
United have a healthy history in Premier League meetings with Forest, losing just the one game in 13 encounters. The Reds enjoyed a memorable 3-2 comeback win when the East Midlands club came to Old Trafford earlier in this current campaign. The visitors were two goals to the good inside the opening five minutes but strikes from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, and Bruno Fernandes enabled us to claim all three points. One of our more unforgettable trips to the City Ground came in our Treble-winning season, in February 1999, when we won 8-1 with the last four goals all being scored by substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Premier League schedule
It’s a 5:30 PM kickoff in the UK, which means 12:30 PM on the east coast of the U.S.
Premier League channel
Sky Sports Premier League in the UK. Those Stateside can watch on NBC or the NBC streaming app, or Telemundo for Spanish language coverage. If you’re in Canada, you can stream the game through FuboTV.
Everyone else, head on over to LiveSoccerTV to find your viewing options.
Manchester United possible starting lineup: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Evans, Varane, Dalot; McTominay, Amrabat, Bruno; Antony, Hojlund, Rashford