United lead 3-0 from first leg
Forest's need to attack is clear
Visitors odds-against for 10+ shots
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
Wednesday 1 February, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event
In the first leg preview (one which produced two winners from two bets, by the way!), I wrote about how refreshing it was not having to worry about who was going to play in a Carabao Cup tie.
Well, that didn't last long.
All change with United in command?
A 3-0 win at the City Ground for Manchester United means this second leg should be a formality but it also leaves us wondering who on earth is going to play.
Still fighting on four fronts, United have a very busy period coming up with the Europa League soon to resume. In the more immediate future, they must host Palace on Saturday and then Leeds next Wednesday in the Premier League.
Surely those games will impact on Erik ten Hag's team selection here - for example, it would be no surprise for Marcus Rashford to get a rest. He played in the FA Cup tie at the weekend and his hot form will be needed in the matches to come.
Christian Eriksen went off in that victory over Reading with what looked a rather nasty injury - expect Fred or Scott McTominay (or even both) to come into he starting XI here.
As for Forest, while it would be unfair to say they'll give this one up, it's also hard to see Steve Cooper playing his strongest XI.
They have a vital relegation six-pointer at home to Leeds to come on Sunday and with several injury and illness problems to deal with of late, risks seem unlikely to be taken. It could well be a much-changed side from the first leg.
United 4/9 to win again
United largely controlled that game and fully deserved their win - they are 1.444/9 for a repeat success at Old Trafford with Forest out at 9.28/1 for the victory.
If you fancy them to fight back in the tie, you can get them at 90/1 to cover a -2 handicap! For the record, no side has ever reached the final having lost the first leg by three clear goals.
Frankly I'd prefer to back the hosts to cover the -1 line, given the circumstances.
They've won their last 11 home games, with nine of those won by at least two goals. One of those which didn't was against champions Man City.
However, I'd want to see those team line-ups before wading into that at even money.
Whoever plays, Forest have to come out and give it a go - I see no point in them shutting up shop, even were a 0-0 draw to be considered a confidence-booster by some.
Forest shots make appeal
An attacking approach has the potential to produce goals at both ends, particularly given United's ability on the counter, and over 2.5 at 1.824/5 makes some appeal.
However, thinking along similar lines, I like odds-against quotes about Forest having 10+ shots in this game.
As I've said, surely they have to try to get back into the tie - the first goal would at least make things interesting - and if United's XI is an unusual one, they will have a straw to clutch at.
Forest have hit this line in seven of their nine games since the World Cup break with the tallies (most recent first) being 13-20-15-7-20-11-12-8-27.
Admittedly, one of the ones which missed was the league match at Old Trafford, a game which was lost 3-0, but I've already explained why a more positive approach (against what will probably be a weaker team) will be required.
Player shots pointers
It will certainly help if certain players are in the side - Gustavo Scarpa and Ryan Yates, for example, both like a shot - but whoever Cooper selects, I think this is a bet worth a try.
The player shots markets could also offer a bit of value, although as already stated, it's hard to know who's going to be starting the game so there will be no selection offered at this stage.
I can, however, offer some pointers.
The aforementioned Scarpa looks solid Bet Builder fodder for 2+ shots at 1/2. He's hit 3+ (a 7/4 chance) in three of his four starts for Forest so far, with the 2+ bet landed in 34 of 40 for Palmeiras last season.
Yates is another who has delivered for backers of the 2+ shots bet on several occasions this season. His shooting ability and set-piece aerial threat could see him bring home the evens.
Lingard & Fred also offer some value
And the 5/6 about Jesse Lingard hitting 2+ shots on his Old Trafford return will also be worth grabbing should be start.
Clearly he'll want to make an impact on his old stomping ground and he's managed 2+ shots in three of his last five starts.
Finally, one on the other side of the ball - Fred for 2+ shots.
As suggested above, I think he'll likely to come for Eriksen after replacing him on Saturday and making an impact. Having not been a regular starter under ten Hag, he could do with the game time and definitely isn't a player who needs a rest.
The Brazilian scored after coming on in that FA Cup game - and in the league fixture between these two - and seems more likely than Scott McTominay or Casemiro to play in that 'Eriksen role'.
Fred has had 2+ shots in five of his last seven starts, while his last two substitute appearances have both resulted in one shot.
2+ at 11/10 looks perfectly fair.
Manchester United have won both meetings with Nottingham Forest 3-0 this season - they've never beaten an opponent by 3+ goals on three occasions in a single campaign before.
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