Premier League
5 min Read

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

AIball previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
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Two Premier League teams seeking to build on Boxing Day triumphs square off at the City Ground on Saturday as Nottingham Forest play host to Manchester United.

Both clubs came from behind to claim maximum points last time out, with the Tricky Trees beating Newcastle United 3-1 away from home and the Red Devils defeating Aston Villa 3-2 at Old Trafford.

Match preview

Just four days after losing his first game in charge of Nottingham Forest at the hands of in-form Bournemouth, Nuno Espirito Santo successfully steered his new side to an impressive comeback victory at Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Chris Wood haunted his former club by netting a superb hat-trick following Alexander Isak's early opener to help the Tricky Trees end a seven-game winless run in the Premier League. However, they still remain 17th in the table and two points above the relegation zone following Luton Town's win at Sheffield United.

Santo has acknowledged that his Forest side are still "learning" under his tutelage and they do not have much time to bask in the glory of Tuesday's win, as they quickly shift their focus to a "tough one" against a Man United outfit whom they have had little success against for some time.

Indeed, Forest have lost their last 11 meetings with the Red Devils over a 28-year period, including each of their last four at the City Ground by an aggregate score of 17-1.

Forest's only Premier League win over Man United came at Old Trafford back in December 1994 (2-1), while their last home victory against the Red Devils took place in March 1992 (1-0) courtesy of a strike from Nigel Clough.

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Following a four-game winless run without a goal in all competitions, Man United's festive misfortunes were seemingly on course to continue as Aston Villa put themselves two goals ahead inside the first 26 minutes of Tuesday's meeting at Old Trafford.

However, the Red Devils completed a stunning turnaround against their title-chasing counterparts courtesy of a second-half brace from Alejandro Garnacho and an 82nd-minute winner from Rasmus Hojlund, who at the 15th time of asking netted his first Premier League goal.

Erik ten Hag's men secured three much-needed points in Man United's first game since Sir Jim Ratcliffe purchased a 25% stake in the club, and they have climbed to sixth in the Premier League table as a result, sitting six points behind rivals Manchester City in fourth place.

Man United will end 2023 away from Old Trafford and have experienced mixed fortunes on their travels so far this season having won four, lost four and drawn one of their nine away matches in the top flight, scoring just eight goals – the joint-fewest on the road – and failing to win any of their last three such games without troubling the scoresheet.

The Red Devils will fancy their chances of heading into the New Year on a high, though, as they have not lost their final league game in any of their last 11 calendar years, while only against Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic (both 14) have they ever boasted a longer winning run against a single opponent than their current 11-game streak versus Saturday's challengers Forest.

Nottingham Forest Premier League form:

Manchester United Premier League form:

Manchester United form (all competitions):

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Nottingham Forest are still having to cope without injured trio Taiwo Awoniyi(groin), Felipe (hamstring) and Serge Aurier (calf), while Ibrahim Sangare will miss Saturday's game through suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

However, Willy Boly is available to return from his one-match ban and the central defender could replace either Moussa Niakhate or Ola Aina in the back four.

Orel Mangala, Ryan Yates and Nicolas Dominguez will all be pushing to start in midfield in the absence of Sangare, while former Man United winger Anthony Elanga, who provided two assists last time out, is set to join Wood, Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi in attack.

As for Man United, Casemiro (thigh), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Mason Mount(calf), Harry Maguire (groin), Tyrell Malacia, Amad Diallo (both knee) and Victor Lindelof (unspecified) all remain sidelined, while Anthony Martial(illness), Luke Shaw and Sofyan Amrabat (both unspecified) are doubtful.

Ten Hag is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup, but Sergio Reguilon will be pushing to return at left-back at the expense of either Diogo Dalot or Aaron Wan-Bissaka, while Scott McTominay could replace either Christian Eriksen or Kobbie Mainoo in centre-midfield.

Both Antony and Facundo Pellistri will hope to force their way back into the first XI, but Garnacho and Marcus Rashford are set to retain their places on the flanks as Bruno Fernandes operates in behind Hojlund up front.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Turner; Williams, Boly, Murillo, Toffolo; Mangala, Danilo; Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Wood

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Varane, Evans, Reguilon; Mainoo, McTominay; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund