Machester United at Brentford
Manchester United face off against Brentford today in what is sure to be an absolute thriller on the pitch. Manchester United is fighting for a top four spot and is currently tied with Tottenham and Newcastle for third but are losing on goal differential. The advantage that they have over Tottenham is that they have played two less games than them, so they can pick up some extra points if they can figure out how to string some wins together. Brentford is overperforming as we near the end of the season as they sit in ninth which is in the top half of the table. Led by their top goal scorer, Ivan Toney, Brentford has become a team that nobody wants to play especially as we get as close as we are to the end of the season.
United is 3-1-1 in their last four games and has actually been preforming better on the road recently than they have been when they’re at Old Trafford. In their last 5 away games they have a record of 4-0-1 with their only tie occurring after Casemiro got a red card in the 34th minute. Brentford have been less than impressive at home recently with only one win in their last 5 home games, and United may make that 6. The problem that United is going to be facing today is that they are without Eriksen and Casemiro. Eriksen picked up an injury to his ankle/foot recently and Casemiro is still out with a suspension. Here is what Ten Hag had to say about the situation:
I feel as though Eriksen being out is going to be detrimental to the success that United has because of how many opportunities he creates every game.
These two sides have only faced off once this season where Brentford absolutely humiliated United at Old Trafford. United is missing some key players for the game today, but not picking up points here would hurt their top four dreams. United needs this win, and they are going to get it today no matter what.
Hammer: United ML
Hammer: Marcus Rashford to score/assist
Sprinkle: Ivan Toney to score/assist
Manchester United V. Southampton
As a Manchester United fan since I was born in 2002, this feels like a pick with value at -110. This is a Man U team playing at Old Trafford and standing confidently in 3rd place versus a very bottom of the table Southampton side. The reds remain on a redemption quest after an embarrassing 0-7 loss against Liverpool which I somehow watched 75 minutes of. Coming off of a massive 4-1 win in the Europa League against a respectable Real Betis side, sitting at 5th place in La Liga, it’s evident that the reds’ emotions are running high. I think there’s more than enough energy in Manchester for me to back the red devils to surge to a multi-goal victory.
Setting my biases aside, Man U has been one of the most consistent English sides. Considering that they had consecutive losses against Brighton and Brentford to start the 22-23 campaign, Erik ten Hag has completely turned things around, figured out his tactics, and won a trophy in the meantime. At home Man U has a record of 9-2-1 (W-D-L) in the Premier League. In their total number of league games, Southampton is 6-3-16. Of these matches, they are 4-0-9 in away fixtures. 3 of these 4 wins are against Leicester, Bournemouth, and Everton who are all at risk of relegation and one loss away from potentially being in that zone. Their 4th away win is over Chelsea because only a March Madness bracket that was written on paper could’ve predicted the blues season.
Man U has outscored opponents 24-8 at home while Southampton has a 3rd league lowest goal differential of -21. The red devils can easily score upwards of 3 goals in such an attractive matchup and have the ability to rebuild their own deflated goal differential. ETH has enforced the plan of playing one game at a time rather than dreaming of a triple, or even quadruple, in trophies this year. I see no reason why this game should be taken lightly by the Manchester gaffer, and I expect him to put out an admirable squad for the match. If I wasn’t in NC I would place this bet up to -125 because of how much contrast there is in these two teams seasons.
Pick: Manchester United -1.5 (v Southampton)