Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United Predictions and Picks: City Ground Slugfest

FA Cup action continues this afternoon with Nottingham Forest welcoming Manchester United. With both sides struggling on defense lately, our betting picks are expecting plenty of goals.

Feb 28, 2024 • 08:38 ET • 4 min read
Nottingham Forest
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Nottingham Forest will look to end a poor run of form on Wednesday when they host Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Our soccer betting odds have the Red Devils favored slightly to win on the road.

It’s been a rough month for Nottingham Forest, with just one victory in regulation over their last eight fixtures across all competitions. However, they’ll be bolstered by the fact they beat Manchester United at the City Ground just before the turn of the calendar and will hope history can repeat itself.

The injury issues continue to pile up for Manchester United, and manager Erik ten Hag will be desperate to keep trophy hopes alive in what has been a disappointing campaign. With the Manchester Derby this weekend, he knows defeat here could see his job status come into question very soon.

My Nottingham Forest vs. Manchester United betting picks for February 28 helps you identify the best way to bet on this FA Cup tie and breaks down how this match should play out.  

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United best odds

Nottingham Forest Nottingham Forest Manchester United Manchester United
+195 Moneyline +129
+275 Draw +275
Over 2.5 (-154) Total Under 2.5 (+131)

Odds courtesy of TonyBet on February 28, 2024.

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United picks and predictions


Manchester United’s strong run of form came to a screeching halt over the weekend when they fell to Fulham in stoppage time. Harry Maguire’s late equalizer looked to secure a point, but he was caught out a few minutes later as Fulham rightly took all three points.

Now Maguire is set to miss out on the match, according to ten Hag’s comments at his press conference on Tuesday. That leaves him with very few defenders, as Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez are already out and Raphael Varane is a question mark for the match. Still, ten Hag knows his side must go for the win on Wednesday, and cannot look ahead to the clash with Man City at the weekend. 

Perhaps more concerning is the absence of Rasmus Hojlund, the red-hot striker who was injured before the Fulham match and whose scoring was sorely missed. Now attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes is also a fitness question, according to ten Hag, and could miss a match due to injury for the first time since joining the club in January 2020. 

This is good news for Nottingham Forest, who are also dealing with some injury issues of their own. But Nuno Espirito Santos will be thrilled to get defender Gonzalo Montiel back into a team that will be missing at least five first-choice players. 

He’ll also hope striker Taiwo Awoniyi will be fit to go a full 90, or at least a good portion of it. He has three goals and an assist in his last seven outings, although he was only able to play a half in their 4-2 loss to Aston Villa at the weekend.

Forest have kept just two clean sheets in their last 19 fixtures — one coming against a West Ham side that went three matches without scoring, and the other against a Bristol team from a lower league. That Bristol match was a 0-0 draw, the only time Forest haven’t scored in their last 13 matches.

On the other side, the Red Devils have just two clean sheets in their last 11, and similar to Forest they came against West Ham and a lower-league side in the FA Cup. They’ve also scored in each of their last 10 matches. 

Trying to pick a winner in this match is extremely difficult for me, but I expect both defenses to leak goals. That’s why my best bet is a simple combo play at TonyBet, as I’ll take both teams to score with three or more goals being scored. They’re offering solid odds at -112, and considering both of their Premier League fixtures this season saw this wager hit, I’ll gladly take that price. 

My best bet: Over 2.5 and both teams to score (-112 at TonyBet)

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Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United same-game parlay

Both teams to score

Over 2.5

Morgan Gibbs-White 1+ shot on goal

Nottingham Forest double chance

Morgan Gibbs-White scored on his only effort on goal in Forest’s 2-1 win over Manchester United in late December, and including that outing he’s put at least one shot on target in six of his last eight starts. Man United are allowing the fourth-most shots in the Premier League this season, and he’s good value at +115 to put one on goal.

I’ll round out my parlay with Forest either winning in regulation or forcing extra time. Manchester United have shown struggles on the road this season, and they’re simply not the same when Marcus Rashford has to play at striker. I’ll back Forest to ride the energy of their fans. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United side and Over/Under analysis

The 3-way line has Manchester United favored to win the match on the road, with a +125 price at most books. Forest can be had for as high as +235, while the draw is as high as +260. 

Forest has lost just twice in their last six at home, a one-goal defeat each to Newcastle and Arsenal, while beating Man United in that run. The Red Devils have won their last five away fixtures since that defeat, but Hojlund was a key part of that run. 

I honestly could see all three results here, which is why I’m staying far from the 3-way line. This is one of the toughest matches I’ve had to pick in a long time, especially with the availability of Bruno Fernandes in the air heading into Wednesday. If he’s unavailable, then I’ll probably put money on a Forest draw-no-bet wager. 

The total of 2.5 goals is shaded towards the Over, with -132 being the lowest juice you’ll face. The Under is available for as high as +112. 

Manchester United has seen each of their last four away fixtures go Over the 2.5 goal total, as well as their last seven both home and away. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest has seen the Over hit in five of their last seven at home. 

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Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United game info

Location: The City Ground, Nottinghamshire, England
Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN+
Weather: Temp: 50F, Wind: 12-27 mph, POP: 56%

Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United key injuries

Nottingham Forest: Chris Wood F (Out), Nuno Tavares D (Out), Ibrahim Sangare M (Doubtful).
Manchester United: Harry Maguire D (Out), Rasmus Hojlund F (Out), Bruno Fernandes M (Questionable). 

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