On Wednesday, the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United is scheduled to take place at the City Ground. After a 1-1 draw in the league against Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest enters this match. Jaidon Anthony, a winger for Bournemouth, scored in the first half, but Nottingham Forest’s Sam Surridge scored an equalizer late in the second half to tie the score.
The Tricky Trees edged past Wolverhampton Wanderers on penalties to make the final four, while the Red Devils comfortably saw off Charlton Athletic in the quarter-finals, and the two sides will reconvene for the second leg at Old Trafford on February 1 for the chance to meet Newcastle United or Southampton at Wembley. In contrast, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal defeated Manchester United 3-2 in the league. In a thrilling contest, Arsenal prevailed thanks to a goal from Bukayo Saka and a brace from forward Eddie Nketiah. Manchester United’s goals were scored by star attacker Marcus Rashford and Argentine center back Lisandro Martinez.
Form Guide: Nottingham Forest
Forest should undoubtedly be a greater threat at home, having earned 15 of their league-high 21 points there. In front of their supporters, they eliminated Tottenham from this competition and shocked Liverpool here in October. Following that thrashing by United, Steve Cooper’s team just came off a 1-1 tie at Bournemouth, giving them eight out of a possible twelve points.
The 13th-placed Nottingham Forest has won two of their previous five league games. Nottingham Forest didn’t hesitate to invest additional money in January after effectively building a new team last summer. The team most recently added Brazilian midfielders Gustavo Scarpa and Danilo permanently.
Chris Wood, a striker, has transferred from Newcastle United. When he played for Burnley in the Premier League, Wood was a productive striker who frequently surpassed the 10-goal mark each season. His acquisition will provide Nottingham Forest’s offense with some high-caliber and physical presence.
Form Guide: Manchester United
Mathematically speaking, Man United is still vying for victory on four fronts this season, but after their thrilling five-goal thriller with Arsenal, even the most upbeat of Red Devils supporters may think a title run is out of the question.
The Red Devils came close to getting a point at Emirates Stadium on Sunday and maybe would have done it if Casemiro had played. The Brazilian’s return to the Red Devils’ ranks tips the balance of this tie in the visitors’ favor as they have lost only twice in the 19 games that he has started.
Eddie Nketiah scored twice and Bukayo Saka scored spectacularly as the Gunners exacted revenge on the only team that had defeated them at home this season. However, Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez also made significant contributions to one of the best games of the Premier League season thus far.
Erik ten Hag’s squad, which has advanced to the final four of the EFL Cup, has eliminated Charlton Athletic, Aston Villa, and Burnley from the competition. The club is now 11 points behind the league leaders, who also have a game remaining.
After losing to Manchester City twice in the cup semifinals in 2020 and 2021, the Red Devils are now in danger of going three games without a victory for the first time under Ten Hag. Jose Mourinho guided the team to EFL Cup victory in 2017, their fifth time making it that far.
How the game could go
At this level, Nottingham Forest is slowly but surely establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with, and few opponents have been able to contain Cooper’s team at the newly fortified City Ground.
The hosts are also working with an additional day of rest, but Man United gave league leaders Arsenal a run for their money over the weekend, and a solid lineup should secure a first-leg edge, albeit a little one.
However, Forest did need penalties to defeat Wolves in the last round, and Dean Henderson is now out with an injury.
Chris Wood, a recent addition, is also ineligible, and we just cannot forget how much better United was at Old Trafford during the holiday season.
Another demoralizing late setback contributed to Sunday’s 3-2 loss against Arsenal, prompting Ten Hag to offer a stern warning to his team. However, it seemed like a high-caliber match, and United has demonstrated numerous times this season that they are moving in the right direction under their new manager.
The Dutchman may alter his starting lineup in this match, but he should have a strong bench and be able to finish strongly because of it.
Manchester United to win
We’re backing in-form Man Utd to secure a victory at The City Ground this weekend which will make them overwhelming favorites to progress into the League Cup final. United have won each of their last six meetings with Nottingham Forest, running out convincing 3-0 winners in the Premier League last month. Forest’s form has been hit and miss of late producing two wins, two draws, and one defeat in their last five fixtures across three competitions, while Manchester United have won four, drawn one, and lost one of their last six outings. Bet9ja have 1.68, 1xbet have 1.71 and Paripesa have 1.71 odds.
We’re expecting goals in this game at both ends of the pitch as Man Utd are likely to make a few changes to their usual starting eleven and Nottingham Forest knows that they need to take the game to their guests if they are to have any chance of making it to the League Cup final. Both teams have scored in three of Forest’s last four outings and four of Man Utd’s last five matches also produced goals at both ends of the pitch, which only adds weight to our second prediction for Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final 1st leg. Bet9ja have 1.75 odds, Paripesa have 1.86 and 1xbet have 1.86 odds.
Anytime Goalscorer (Nottingham Forest)
Former Red Devil Jesse Lingard is the only player to have scored in two of Forest’s four EFL Cup wins this season and has been lined up to return from injury against his old club. The former United player would relish playing against his former side and he has scored the most goals for his side in this competition. Bet9ja have 4.00 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 5.00.
Anytime Goalscorer (Manchester United)
United are not big scorers this season and may elect to rest Marcus Rashford – making Bruno Fernandes, who has scored two in his last three appearances, seem like their most potent threat. He could be the difference as always like in the past and we would see that from him today given the circumstances. Bet9ja have 3.50 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.24.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.