On Wednesday evening, Manchester United will face Brentford at Old Trafford in an attempt to end their three-game winless and goalless run in the Premier League. The Red Devils suffered a comprehensive 2-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United over the weekend, while Brentford was held to a 3-3 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion.
The manner of Manchester United’s defeat to Newcastle was eerily similar to Arsenal’s loss to the same team last season, which ended the Gunners’ hopes of Champions League football. Outclassed, outfought, and outplayed by their opponents, Man United’s recent performances have been underwhelming. The second-half headers from Joe Willock and Callum Wilson prolonged their problematic patch in the top-flight.
Both manager Erik ten Hag and Luke Shaw admitted that Newcastle’s “passion, desire, and hunger” heavily outweighed that of Manchester United. The club has now dropped to fourth place in the Premier League table, with just one point from their last three fixtures in the top division. By Monday, the club could find themselves out of the Champions League places entirely if Tottenham Hotspur avoid defeat against Everton. However, the Red Devils will still have their Champions League destiny in their own hands, having played two games fewer.
Prior to the international break, Manchester United has focused on the Europa League and FA Cup, seemingly neglecting their top-flight duties. This week, they could fail to score in four successive Premier League games for the first time in their history. Nevertheless, the club has an impressive defensive record, having conceded only eight goals at home, the best in the Premier League.
In contrast, Brentford could have done with a lesson in keeping the back door shut during their game against Brighton. The Seagulls managed to score three times in response to Brentford’s three goals. Although the result was enough to lift Brentford to seventh place in the table, they only have two wins from their last seven top-flight fixtures, failing to beat relegation candidates Everton and Leicester City in that period.
However, Brentford’s only loss in their last 16 Premier League matches was against Everton, and few Manchester United fans will forget the 4-0 loss they suffered at the Gtech Community Stadium. Brentford followed that up with a historic 2-1 victory over Manchester City. Still, they were beaten 3-0 at Old Trafford towards the end of last season.
Despite Manchester United’s recent struggles, they have an impressive record at Old Trafford, having not lost any of their last 12 Premier League matches there. On the other hand, Brentford has struggled to find consistency in their recent performances. However, with their win over Manchester City this season, they have proven that they can compete with the best teams in the league.