Manchester United host Brentford on Monday Night Football and Mike Norman fancies the underdogs to cause the Red Devils plenty of problems…
Sorry United just want the season to end
You can give reasons or offer up excuses all you like, the reality is that Manchester United have been absolutely dreadful this season.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer they were a mess, under Wreck It Ralf Rangnick they are a mess that can’t even be bothered to try and pretend they’re giving it their all.
Some might dispute the above comment given that United are sixth in the table, but let’s not beat around the bush here, they were highly fancied to challenge for honours this season yet they will once again end the campaign without a trophy and fall some 30+ points short of the eventual champions.
Rangnick’s men have lost 10 league games this term, failed to win 20 of them, and in their last 11 matches they’ve won just two, thanks only to a pair of Cristiano Ronaldo hat-tricks.
Ronaldo has now scored eight of United’s last nine goals. Fred is the only other United player to score for the team in the last eight weeks! And yet Ronaldo has been accused of being the problem!
Yes United have some great individuals who at their best can be described as top class, but collectively, especially in recent weeks – Ronaldo apart – they’ve been a complete shambles.
Brilliant Bees deserve the highest praise
It can make you a bit angry writing about how disappointing Manchester United have been this season, and that’s without even being a fan, but in complete contrast, it’s impossible not to smile when talking about Brentford and what they’ve achieved this term.
To put it into perspective, they were playing Championship football 12 months ago, while United were about to finish runners-up in the Premier League table.
Yet win on Monday night, and last season’s play-off winners will be just 12 points, and probably only three or four places, behind one of the biggest clubs in world football.
Thomas Frank‘s men have been a complete breath of fresh air, and signing everyone’s favourite footballer, Christian Eriksen, has proved to be a masterstroke.
The Bees are on a fantatic run of form, winning five and drawing one of their last seven matches and they are yet to taste defeat when Eriksen has started a match for them, collecting 16 of the 18 points available.
They’ve defeated the likes of Chelsea and West Ham, and held in-form Spurs in that run, so it will take a brave man who predicts them to go to Old Trafford and get rolled over on Monday night.
Impossible to have any confidence in United
From what I’ve wrote about the two teams above you’d think that I’d be all over a Brentford win at 4.84/1 in the Match Odds market.
But again, we have to put things into perspective. When we talk about United being a huge disappointment it’s because we’re talking about the most successful Premier League club in history, a club that finished runners-up last year and a team that were highly fancied to challenge for the title this campaign. They didn’t.
Brentford were a Championship outfit 12 months ago, defied the odds to win promotion, and were a team strongly fancied to be relegated this term. They won’t be.
So while I believe Brentford will go to Old Trafford and cause United massive problems, I’m not entirely confident about tipping them to win, so I’ll refrain from doing so.
I’d have even less confidence in backing United to win at 1.784/5 mind you, and if forced to have a bet on the outcome I’d probably go for the draw at 4.216/5, though given that I think the potential is there for a high-scoring game I believe better bets are to be had elsewhere.
Back Bees to sting hosts
There’s no doubt that Brentford go into the game in much better form than United, and what’s been impressive of late is the amount of goals they’ve scored, especially away from home.
The Bees have scored 10 in their last four games on the road, including four at Chelsea in a stunning 4-1 victory. And with United failing to keep a clean sheet in any of their last five games on home soil – including conceding two to rock-bottom Norwich – I really fancy Brentford to score at least twice here.
United were torn apart defensively by Cheslea in midweek, conceding a staggering 21 shots at goal, which augers well given that Brentford have been creating chances galore on the road since Eriksen came into the team.
The Bees have averaged almost 15 shots per game (with six on target per game) in those last four away matches so it’s not too difficult to envisage something similar on Monday night.
Brentford to score at least twice (Over 1.5 Goals) can be backed at 11/5 on the Sportsbook, so hopefully Frank’s men can convert a few of the chances they create.
Eriksen a solid Bet Builder option
Eriksen has been quite superb for Brentford since he was given a starting berth six games ago.
The Denmark international has recorded eight shots at goal in his six starts, with six of those being on target. He has two assists and one goal to his name, and he’s way ahead of any other Brentford player for chances created since he made his debut for the club.
He will be a very popular selection to include in any Bet Builder wagers but if you’re looking for just a single bet that involves the great Dane then you will do a lot worse than backing him to score or assist at 13/10.