Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Picks and Predictions: Nottingham Not In Form to Test Trafford

Even though Manchester United will be shuffling the lineup a bit, they've dominated Nottingham Forest in two recent matches, and with the visitors' current form, our soccer picks don't see things playing out much differently Wednesday.

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2023 11:07 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Bruno Fernandes Manchester United
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With a 3-0 win in the first leg of their Carabao Cup in hand, Manchester United will host Nottingham Forest in prime position to advance to the final of the league cup no matter the result on Wednesday. But for Erik ten Hag, the match presents a real need to rotate the squad, and with that comes a window of opportunity for the visitors.

For Nottingham Forest, they’ve had a week to sit and reflect on their defeat with no matches played. More importantly, they’ve had time to try to get some players fit and ready to play again as well as make a key addition in the transfer market.

Given the motivation for the two teams, team selection and rotation could provide quite a few value plays for this match. We help you find the best one in our Manchester United vs. Nottingham Forest free betting picks for Wednesday, February 1. 

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest odds

Manchester United Nottingham Forest
-250 Moneyline =700
+375 Draw +375
Over 2.5 (-143) Total Under 2.5 (+110)

Odds courtesy of bet365 on February 1, 2023.

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest picks and predictions

Nottingham Forest don’t have fond memories of Old Trafford. The club has been outscored 17-2 in their last five trips there, and they’ve not enjoyed victory at Old Trafford in 28 years. Their last trip, just after Christmas, saw them concede twice in a span of four minutes en route to a 3-0 defeat.

That was the same scoreline in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal matchup, suffering a home defeat just one week ago. This time it was a goal inside six minutes that set things off, with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring yet again before Wout Weghorst doubled the lead just before halftime. 

The likes of Rashford are expected to get some rest, considering Man United — with this match included — are about to embark on a stretch of 10 matches over 33 days. They will also be likely to rotate in the midfield after losing Christian Eriksen for three months, although they were able to bring in Marcel Sabitzer on loan before Tuesday’s transfer deadline. That means Casemiro is unlikely to start.

Even with rotation, Manchester United will have the stronger side on Wednesday. Alejandro Garnacho is a budding star and will take Rashford’s place, and Bruno Fernandes will likely retain his spot giving Man United a strong attack behind either Weghorst or Anthony Martial. That will cause problems for Forest, who come into the match with a lengthy injury list. They were able to add goalkeeper Keylor Navas on loan before the deadline, but his late arrival from PSG will see him unlikely to go less than 24 hours later.

Manchester United have won their last 11 matches at Old Trafford in all competitions, and seven of those have seen the Red Devils leading at intermission. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest have trailed at halftime in seven of their 13 away matches this season, including three of their last four since the World Cup break. They’ve also been behind at the intermission in each of their three away matches against Big Six opposition, and in five of their seven such matches regardless of location. 

Rotation or not, Manchester United should roll in this one. Stay away from the heavy juice for a full-time win, and instead take the Red Devils to once again be in front after 45 minutes. 

My best bet: Manchester United first-half moneyline (-110 at DraftKings)

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Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest side analysis

Manchester United have won 11 straight at home in all competitions, and have lost just twice in 17 matches at Old Trafford all season. Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, have just three wins in 13 away fixtures this season, losing seven times. 

As such, Man United are overwhelming betting favorites, with the draw offering nearly four times your stake and a Forest win paying around +650. Nottingham Forest are unable to sit back and try to bunker as they usually would, as they must overturn a three-goal deficit just to force penalties.

The substantial injury list for the visitors includes key players Moussa Niakhate, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Cheikhou Kouyate, while keeper Dean Henderson is hurt — and wouldn’t have been able to play against his parent club anyways. 

Given the circumstances, I would stay away from the full-match three-way line. I’m not sure even parlaying the Man United moneyline would provide much value.

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Over/Under analysis

With a line of around -130 at most books, the Over 2.5 is easily the favorite on the match Total. Given recent results, that makes sense. Man United’s last six home matches have seen three or more goals scored. In addition, the Red Devils have scored multiple goals in eight straight at Old Trafford.

The visitors’ defense has been leaky, to put it nicely. In their four matches against Manchester City, Arsenal, and Man United, they’ve conceded at least three goals in each. They’ve also conceded three or more goals in five of their 13 matches on the road this season.

That said, this is a tricky spot. Man United could easily take their foot off the gas if they get an early lead, and players like Bruno would likely come off. Meanwhile, Forest have little to realistically play for, and could decide to protect their important healthy players — which could lead to a weaker lineup. Until you see who is starting, I’d stay away from the Total here as well. 

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest game info

Location: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest key injuries

Manchester United: Christian Eriksen M (Out), Jadon Sancho F (Out), Anthony Martial F (Questionable). 
Nottingham Forest: Dean Henderson GK (Out), Moussa Niakhate D (Out), Taiwo Awoniyi F (Out). 

Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest weather

Temperatures at kickoff on Wednesday night will be chilly. It’ll feel like it’s in the mid-30s for the entire match, with a slight chance of rain in the forecast. 

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