Manchester United already have a foothold in the EFL Cup final, and they will be looking for a drama-free evening when they host Nottingham Forest in this semi-final second leg.
Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Odds
Here are the latest match odds for Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest from bet365.
- Manchester United: 2/5
- Draw: 15/4
- Nottingham Forest: 7/1
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Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Predictions
Manchester United are on the verge of qualifying for what would be just their third cup final since 2017.
Finalists in the FA Cup in 2018 and again in the Europa League in 2021, United are desperate to win their first trophy for five and a half years.
They are bet365 favorites to win the EFL Cup this season, with Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur having already been knocked out.
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United made light work of Nottingham Forest in the first leg of this semi-final, eliminating the winners 3-0 at the City Ground.
It was a very impressive result considering that Steve Cooper’s side have not lost any of their last six Premier League games in front of their own fans.
Goals from Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes at Nottingham put United in a dominant position, with Erik ten Hag likely to mix up his pack for the second leg.
United have a busy month ahead, with every midweek being taken up with either Premier League or Europa League fixtures.
So this could be an opportunity for Ten Hag to rest Rashford, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, who all started in the 3-1 win over Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest Predictions
Nottingham Forest are in for a good shot and an early goal could make Manchester United nervous, but it’s hard to see the away team overturning such a huge overall deficit.
Over 2.5 goals – 3/4 (bet365)
This bet could have materialized in the first leg, but only just: United’s third goal was scored by Fernandes in the 89th minute of the match.
The Portuguese strike at the end of last week could end up changing the way Ten Hag approaches this game.
If United only had a 2-0 lead on aggregate, the manager would likely take fewer risks. A three-goal cushion, however, gives the Red Devils significant breathing space and means they have an extra margin of error at home.
A defeat would not necessarily be fatal for United, while Forest will be desperate to give their opponents pause on Wednesday. But it’s hard to see Ten Hag’s side losing at Old Trafford right now.
United have won 11 games on the rebound in front of their own fans. It’s true that their opponents haven’t always been the strongest in this run – Sheriff, Burnley, Reading and Charlton Athletic are among recent visitors to Old Trafford – but it’s the kind of record you don’t can’t sniff.
It’s also worth noting that United’s last six home games have featured three or more goals.
Forest will have to take a few risks to try and get back into the draw, which could lead to an open encounter.
Both teams to score – 19/20 (bet365)
Along those same lines, both teams to score could be a shrewd selection given the state of this tie.
It’s just human nature to take your eyes off the ball when you’re already three goals ahead in total.
That’s not to say United will be completely lacking in focus. Ten Hag will want to see his side maintain the momentum generated by an 11-win streak in their last 13 outings in all competitions.
But even if they start fast with the aim of putting the tie to bed once and for all, it’s easy to see United’s concentration dwindling as the game progresses.
Meanwhile, Forest won’t be able to just sit back and absorb the pressure.
Under normal circumstances, 0-0 would be positive for Cooper’s side, and it would be up to United to take the initiative.
On Wednesday, however, it is Forest who must take the game to United.
They should be fresh and eager to go after a weekend off, and there have been some signs of improvement in their previously dismal away record: Forest have picked up four points from their last two games away in the league.
Best away team score in first half – 21/10 (bet365)
Odds of 100/1 show how unlikely Forest are to make the EFL Cup final this year.
Even Cooper and his players know they have an extremely slim chance of progressing to the Wembley showpiece after that 3-0 loss last time out.
If Forest are to at least keep things interesting, they need to reduce the overall deficit before half-time.
Cooper won’t tell his side to get going in the first minute but Forest need to commit bodies to attack at an earlier stage in the game than they did in their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford in December .
If, as is likely, United are still comfortably ahead after around an hour, Forest may opt to withdraw some players in a bid to save their legs for this weekend’s clash with Leeds United.
The first 45 minutes are when Forest must leave their mark or say goodbye to the EFL Cup until next season.
How to watch Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
- Location: Old Trafford, Manchester, England.
- Date and time: Wednesday February 1, 2023, 8 p.m.
- How to watch: Main event of Sky Sports and Sky Sports Football.
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