The Premier League weekend concludes with one match in the Monday Night Football which comes from Old Trafford as Manchester United host Brentford in a clash which probably meant something when it was moved for TV coverage but doesn’t anymore.
The only thing at stake here is pride which to be fair the home side should be playing for quite a bit of. Brentford have been a breath of fresh air this season and technically need a few points to be safe but they have the magical 40 number already.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Monday Night Football programme on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League channels. The show begins at 7pm with the match kicking off at 8pm.
The demise of Manchester United this season has been a crazy one. Looking in from afar it is crazy some of the decisions they have been made. They have been bad enough but some of their performances have been even worse. I get that footballers can suffer from a crisis of confidence and not be at their best but the class that is still in this United squad really should have delivered a lot more than they have. If they are not careful they won’t even qualify for the Europa League which would just be a shambles.
It is now just one win in their last six for Manchester United and that was the most unconvincing win over Norwich City that you’ll see. The newspapers will show they drew with Chelsea last time out but only Chelsea will know how they didn’t win that match. United have been rotten defensively throughout the campaign and if Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t turned up in attack then neither have the Red Devils in the main. The season end can’t come quickly enough.
If Manchester United aren’t enjoying a good season the same certainly can’t be said of Brentford who are loving their first campaign in the Premier League. They had a dodgy spell in the middle of the season which they wouldn’t have wanted but either side of that they have picked up results and shown that they certainly belong in this league. A strong finish to the season will give them the ability to start next season in a good place and dent the ‘second season syndrome’ that we’ve seen Sheffield United and Leeds United suffer in recent seasons.
The Bees head to Old Trafford having won five and drawn one of their last seven matches so they are certainly finishing the season strongly. The draw in that run came against Tottenham Hotspur last week in a match which they probably should have won if the xG is anything to go by. They have challenged the big six teams throughout the season and we certainly shouldn’t expect any difference in that regard here.
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Manchester United are still suffering from a bit of an injury crisis with Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw definitely out of this match while Harry Maguire, Fred and Edinson Cavani will all be assessed ahead of the contest.
Thomas Frank has suggested that Brentford could have Christian Norgaard and Kristoffer Ajer back for this match which would give them more options throughout the pitch. Segi Canos and Ethan Pinnock will not be available though.
If you had said to be at the beginning of the season that we could get Manchester United at 4/5 to beat Brentford at home I would be ordering the skip to put the stake in but actually now that situation has come about it doesn’t look a great bet after all. United are in terrible form while Brentford are flying and based on form the visitors are a big price either on the nose or the double chance with the draw, but they’ve just reached 40 points and better sides than them have stumbled after achieving that goal.
I’m in no rush to bet on the main markets in the match but it was impossible not to notice the shambles the left side of Manchester United was defensively on Thursday night and we’ve known they can’t handle pace all season so I fancy the 5/1 on Bryan Mbuemo to find the back of the net is worth a punt. He will slot down that right side of the Brentford attacks and look to cut in and the Bees have played in the likes of Christian Eriksen and Matthias Jensen who are capable of sending him clear. The M part of the famous Brentford BMW of the past hasn’t had the season he would like in terms of goals but one here would make up for it and recent Man Utd matches suggest he might not be devoid of chances.
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