After starting the Erik ten Hag era off on the wrong foot by losing to Brighton at home, can Manchester United rebound with a victory over Brentford? It will be easier said than done versus Thomas Frank's side after their comeback draw with Leicester City in Week 1. With a settled team at his disposal, Brentford can cause Manchester United similar issues they faced versus Brighton in dealing with Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo.
Ten Hag will have a big decision to make on if he will start Cristiano Ronaldo as well as how his midfield setup will look. Former Brentford man Christian Eriksen looked lost playing as a center forward in Week 1 but Manchester United doesn't have an appropriate defensive midfielder to drop him into a midfield three from the start of the game which is one of the reasons they're pursuing Adrien Rabiot of Juventus.
Rabiot wouldn't be a traditional midfielder but it does offer a different look to Fred and Scott McTominay that could at least give ten Hag different options if needed.
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Here are our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Saturday, Aug 13 | Time: 12:30 p.m.
- Location: Gtech Community Stadium -- Brentford, Middlesex
- TV: NBC | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: Brentford +280; Draw +240; Manchester United +102 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Brentford: The Bees will likely roll out a back four again as Kristoffer Ajer and Ethan Pinnock will miss the match with injuries but Ben Mee was solid on his debut versus Leicester City. With new signing Mikkel Damsgaard, the formation could be in play longer even when they are back to full strength. Damsgaard only featured in 12 games for Sampdoria last season due to issues with arthritis but after missing five months, he was able to return by the end of the season before moving to Brentford.
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Manchester United: Anthony Martial will still be absent with a pesky thigh injury which opens the door for either Cristiano Ronaldo or Anthony Elanga to deputize as the center forward. Ten Hag could play Eriksen there again, but against a pesky Brentford side, Manchester United would be better served playing him deeper. If Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot struggle in what should be an open match, their starting places could be up as well which will be something to watch.
The Manchester United defense doesn't seem strong enough to contain Brentford right now as Ivan Toney will find joy in the match. Pick: Brentford 2, Manchester United 2