Manchester United’s final home match of what has been an extremely disappointing Premier League season will take place on Monday night, with Brentford the visitors to Old Trafford. The Red Devils are currently sixth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have two games in hand, while Brentford occupy 12th, having enjoyed an impressive campaign in the top flight.Ronaldo continues to face criticism in some quarters, but the Red Devils would be lost without him this season, with the 37-year-old scoring 23 times in all competitions, including 17 in the Premier League.
Man United managed to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat on Thursday evening, as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Chelsea at Old Trafford; Marcos Alonso sent the Blues ahead in the 60th minute, but Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the scores just two minutes later. Man United’s hopes of a top-four finish have ended, having lost three of their last five matches, while they have won just one of their last six in England’s top flight, which has left them down in sixth spot in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have two games spare on the Red Devils.
As a result, the 20-time English champions are in a fight for a Europa League spot, sitting three points ahead of seventh-placed West Ham United, who have a game in hand, but Wolverhampton Wanderers in eighth are just six points behind and have two games in hand, so Ralf Rangnick’s side could miss out on Europe altogether. The Red Devils will welcome Erik ten Hag as their new head coach this summer, with Rangnick becoming a consultant, balancing the position with the Austria managerial role, and the German will be desperate to end what has been a disappointing campaign on a positive note.
Man United will face Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace in their final two matches of the season, and they can only finish on a maximum of 64 points, which is already their lowest-ever Premier League total, so it could be a record-breaking campaign for the club for all of the wrong reasons. Brentford, meanwhile, have excelled in their first ever Premier League campaign, with the club well on course to enjoy another season at this level of football. The Bees have won 11, drawn seven and lost 16 of their 34 league matches this term to collect 40 points, which has left them in 12th spot in the table, 11 points clear of 18th-placed Everton, who have two games in hand.
Thomas Frank’s side will enter this match in excellent form, picking up 10 points from their last four Premier League matches, including wins over Chelsea, West Ham and Watford, while they held Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw in their last game on April 23. Brentford have actually won five of their last seven in the league, suffering just one defeat in the process, to ease any relegation fears, and they will finish the campaign with matches against Southampton, Everton and Leeds United.Christian Eriksen has been in excellent form for Brentford in the second half of the season and will again feature in central midfield, while Ivan Toney, who has 12 league goals this term, will be joined by Bryan Mbeumo in attack.
The Bees, who are playing in the top flight of English football for the first time since the 1946-47 campaign, suffered a 3-1 loss to Man United in the reverse game back in January, and Monday’s match will represent their first trip to Old Trafford since a 2-1 defeat in the League Cup back in September 1975. Man United will again be without the services of Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood for Monday’s clash with Brentford. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred and Jesse Lingard could all be back in the squad, but Jadon Sancho is facing a battle to return before the end of the campaign due to tonsillitis.
Alejandro Garnacho made his debut for the Red Devils against Chelsea and will hope to be involved once again, and it would not be a surprise too see the same starting XI from the clash with the Blues. Fred, who has recently been out with a hip problem, might make his return off the bench, while Marcus Rashford is potentially under threat from Juan Mata, but it could be a case of same again from Rangnick. As for Brentford, Frank said during his pre-match press conference that Christian Norgaard and Kristoffer Ajer should be available for selection at Old Trafford. Ethan Pinnock, Sergi Canos, Frank Onyeka and Saman Ghoddos are out, though, while Mathias Jorgensen will be absent for the remainder of the campaign due to a groin issue.
Manchester United :
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; Matic, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Elanga; Ronaldo
Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Sorensen; Roerslev, Eriksen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney