Even Rasmus Hojlund has admitted the club is in crisis and will be looking to talisman Marcus Rashford to discover his scoring touch as they look to down a Brentford side who are not having the best of times themselves. They are winless in five and appear to have lost their spark upfront after an impressive start to the campaign.
United will be without Lisandro Martinez as their defensive injury crisis continues, which will see midfielder Sofyan Amrabat play at left-back. Antony could start after returning to the squad. Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog.
I can’t quite get over that United defence. It is two centre-backs who played for Leicester City five years ago, a right-back at left-back and an outcast centre-back at right-back.
Injuries, yes, but how much money has Erik ten Hag spent?
Return of the Mag
Manchester United hand Harry Maguire his first league start of the season as Raphael Varane misses out with a minor injury.
It’s quite the defence with Victor Lindelog and Jonny Evans also involved.
For Brentford, goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha makes his first appearance of the season. Mark Flekken is ill.
Teams in full
Manchester United XI: Onana; Dalot, Evans, Maguire, Lindelof; Amrabat, Mount, Casemiro; Fernandes, Hojlund, Rashford
Subs: Bayindir, Eriksen, Hannibal, McTominay, Pellistri, Van de Beek, Antony, Garnacho, Martial
Brentford XI: Strakosha, Collins, Pinnock, Ajer, Janelt, Hickey, Roerslev, Norgaard, Jensen, Wissa, Mbeumo
Subs: Balcombe, Maupay, Zanka, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Yarmoliuk, Ji-soo, Olakigbe, Brierley
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) October 7, 2023
Manchester United XI
Harry Maguire returns!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 7, 2023
Frank wants to pile on the pressure
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank feels Manchester United will be used to playing under the weight of expectation as he aims to heap more pressure on Erik ten Hag and his squad with a positive result at Old Trafford.
Brentford are without a Premier League win since August 19, but have drawn three games during that spell. Frank feels United will always be expected to “win every game” – and Saturday will be no different.
“They (United) need to bounce back, to come flying out. Of course there is pressure on them to beat Brentford,” Frank said.
“Manchester United is a massive club and the pressure is there for them to win every game, so I don’t think it makes that big a difference that we are coming there and they have not been playing that well.
“I am always in doubt when you meet a team which has great momentum, is that bad? Or will that momentum end one day? I don’t know.”
Man United not impossible, insists Ten Hag
Manchester United are in a “bad place” but managing the club is not an impossible job, according to Erik ten Hag.
The Dutchman is the latest esteemed manager to flounder in his efforts to restore United’s place at the top of the game, with his side struggling at home and on their return to the Champions League.
But, asked if he had the impossible job, Ten Hag said: “It’s the wrong way (to look at it). We have to fight. I think there is no club where it never goes down.
“We are in a bad place but then you have to fight. You have to realise, everyone, that we are there and you have to fight together and you are on one page on every occasion.”
Ten Hag cited Tuesday’s home loss to Galatasaray as an example of what is going wrong this season, saying: “We were for 28 minutes on one page, we score a goal and then in one split second we are not on one page.
“It was the first shot the opponent got and straight in. You can’t allow it in top football because it’s about moments, it’s about details. Opponents will always benefit from it so we can’t allow these small details.”
Neither team are in a particularly good place at the moment but Brentford are well-coached and do have options to pounce on United’s defensive problems.
Brentford to win 2-1.
Brentford team news
Brentford have no fresh injuries, but remain without several players. Midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard and left-back Rico Henry are both recovering from knee surgery, while German forward Kevin Schade had an adductor operation.
Defender Ben Mee (muscle), midfielders Shandon Baptiste (shoulder) and Josh Dasilva (thigh) are all still sidelined. Striker Ivan Toney continues his Football Association ban for breaching gambling rules.