Can the Red Devils overcome Brentford to keep top 4 hopes alive?

Can the Red Devils overcome Brentford to keep top 4 hopes alive?

Manchester United will be looking to revive their Premier League top-four hopes as they make the trip to West London to face Brentford this Thursday.

After squandering a 2-0 lead, The Red Devils had to settle for a single point at Villa park, and are currently seventh in the table, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham United, while Brentford occupy 14th position, 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Brentford have won five, drawn nine and lost 10 of their 21 Premier League matches this season to collect 23 points, which has left them in 14th position in the table, 10 points clear of 18th-placed Norwich City in the same number of games.

The Bees won back-to-back games against Aston Villa and Port Vale in the league and FA Cup earlier this month but have lost their last two against Southampton and Liverpool in England’s top flight, conceding seven times in the process and scoring just once.

Brentford will again be without the services of Julian Jeanvier, David Raya, Charlie Goode and Josh Dasilva for this match through injury, while Mathias Jorgensen remains a doubt. The Bees are also missing Frank Onyeka due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, but Rico Henry returned from injury to feature in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.

As for Man United, Paul Pogba remains on the sidelines with a thigh problem, while Eric Bailly is unavailable due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations. Aaron Wan-Bissaka also remains a doubt through illness, but Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to recover from a hip injury to return to the starting XI, while Marcus Rashford could be involved after missing out at the weekend due to a dead leg.

Brentford have not beaten Man United since 1938, but Wednesday’s contest will be their first clash in the league since 1947, when the two sides played out a goalless draw.

The Bees have shown that they are more than capable of competing at this level, and Frank’s side are only two points behind 10th-placed Leicester City, although the Foxes have only played 18 matches in the Premier League this term.

United’s performance against Villa was arguably the team’s best since Ralf Rangnick’s arrival as interim head coach, but it was a further indication of their shortcomings, having been unable to hold off the pressure from the home side, with former Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho coming up with the equaliser in the 81st minute.

The Red Devils have picked up 32 points from their 20 matches, which has left them in seventh spot in the table, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham with two games in hand.

The Red Devils have only won four of their 10 away league matches this season, but they are unbeaten on their travels in England’s top flight since the 4-1 loss at Watford on November 20, which led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure as head coach.

Overall, we predict a 2-1 win in the favour of United, and for United to preserve their unbeaten streak against Brentford this Thursday.