Man Utd to have work to do in the second leg
Nottingham Forest appear to have turned a corner in the Premier League and now have a chance to reach a first cup final in over 30 years, though they must first overcome Manchester United over two legs of their EFL Cup semi-final. The first one is at the City Ground on Wednesday night, and they might sense they have a chance against the Red Devils, who after a long winning streak, have now disappointingly drawn away at Crystal Palace and lost 3-2 at Arsenal in the past week. Read our preview here:
Henn when I see you again?
Steve Cooper could still be in the market for a goalkeeper after first choice custodian Dean Henderson (whose selection might've been barred by the terms of his loan arrangement away from Old Trafford) suffered a tear in his thigh. Wayne Hennessey will deputise for the short-term at least, but they are light in experienced top tier options. Elsewhere, moves have been made in the winter transfer window in both midfield and attack, with Brazilian Danilo drafted in from Palmeiras to add bite to the engine room and Chris Wood a focal point of their approach play. Sam Surridge's recent displays will ensure he's a like-for-like replacement for the New Zealand international, whilst Brennan Johnson has also hit form at the right time.
Erik the dread
As expected, Casemiro's suspension for the Gunners clash proved highly costly, with Christian Eriksen's shortcomings in defensive situations brutally exposed by Bukayo Saka et al. With the ex-Real Madrid man back in contention, Erik ten Hag will push the Danish schemer further forwards where his lack of mobility is less of an issue. Fellow midfielder Donny van de Beek's luckless couple of seasons continues with the news he's ruled out for the rest of the campaign with yet another injury, further reducing the options at the head coach's disposal when it comes to effectively screening the back four. This week's games could come too soon for Jadon Sancho, but the winger is nearing match fitness.
Man Utd are always dangerous and capable of notching in any game, but credit must also be given for how Cooper has marshalled his bloated squad into a team capable of competing with more organised outfits. Forest need a good result in the home leg, and Parimatch have odds of 3.90 for a draw.