THE first leg of the Carabao Cup semi finals take place this week when Nottingham Forest host Manchester United.
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Rashford and Johnson could have a big role to play
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Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United preview
Forest’s weekend draw at Bournemouth extended their unbeaten run to three games.
That included the penalty shoot-out win over Wolves to get them to this stage.
They sit 13th in the Premier League, four clear of the relegation spots.
Forest go into this tie as the clear underdogs though, with United odds-on to win the whole thing.
It’s funny how quickly things change in football, with Erik ten Hag’s men mooted as title contenders after their win over rivals Manchester City in the derby on the Saturday before last.
Fast forward a week and a bit, they’ve drawn at Crystal Palace and lost at Arsenal in a double hammer blow to their title chances and narrative that a corner had been turned.
But this is a huge, genuine chance at silverware and Ten Hag will likely treat it as such.
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Spurs vs Arsenal
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Nottingham Forest vs Man Utd odds
Nottm Forest 9/2
Man Utd 4/7
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Premier League football
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Nottingham Forest – DWD(p)LW
Bournemouth 1 Nottm Forest 1 – Premier League – January 21
Nottm Forest 2 Leicester 0 – Premier League – January 14
Nottm Forest 1 (win on pens) Wolves 1 – Carabao Cup – January 11
Blackpool 4 Nottm Forest 1 – FA Cup – January 7
Southampton 0 Nottm Forest 1 – Premier League – January 4
United have faced more shots than taken on average in the league
Manchester United – LDWWW
Arsenal 3 Man Utd 2 – Premier League – January 22
Crystal Palace 1 Man Utd 1 – Premier League – January 18
Man Utd 2 Man City 1 – Premier League – January 14
Man Utd 3 Charlton 0 – Carabao Cup – January 10
Man Utd 3 Everton 1 – FA Cup – January 6
Nottingham Forest vs Man Utd form
There’s not an awful lot to go on here, though United have the edge.
United won the league fixture between the pair, a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred the goalscorers that day.
Before that, you have to go back to February 1999 for the last competitive fixture – this time an 8-1 United win.
The Red Devils winning the last seven meetings between the sides.
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Casemiro returns to the United squad having served his one-game ban in the defeat at the Emirates.
Changes are expected to the side, with Harry Maguire one of those expected to come in.
Diogo Dalot and Anthony Martial could be pushing for a return, with the United boss coy about their returns.
While Jadon Sancho’s return date is anyone’s guess.
A potential line-up for Forest in the first leg
Ten Hag could make changes
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Goals, goals and more goals are expected here.
United will want to win the tie on the night and set up a comfortable night at Old Trafford in the second leg.
Forest’s plan will be to keep it tight and remain in the tie but any early United goals and the hosts will need to retaliate.
3-0 was the score earlier this year, this could be even bigger.
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He’s looked lively when given a chance and he could be afforded one here.
Garnacho still appears to have a point to prove, having been left on the bench for the largely ineffective but ultra expensive Antony.
This could be his time to step up again and will thrive down the United left.
3/1 for two or more efforts on target looks a good bet.
Forest’s average stats in the league this term
What managers have said
Erik ten Hag said his side’s collapse at Arsenal was ‘unacceptable’ and called for a mentality shift if they want to compete for silverware.
He said: “I am annoyed and I told the players if you want to win titles and medals, you have to change the mentality, You are in a top game and you are making such big mistakes.
“We started the game very well, scored, are leading and then make so many mistakes that are actually unacceptable. You have to feel the game, realise that the maximum we would take from it at that moment was a point and then take that point.
“You cannot give such a goal away as we did or you can’t win trophies. We’ve already seen how the mentality of the players has changed over the last couple of months. But we have noticed that we still have a way to go to get to the top level.”
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