Manchester United vs Brentford: Premier League Preview
Manchester United's faltering pursuit of a second Premier League top-four finish in three years continues at Old Trafford as they entertain surprise package Brentford in a handsomely-looking midweek fixture.
After a lackluster scoreless draw against basement boys Southampton in their most recent Premier League home outing, Man Utd suffered a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United at the weekend.
United's underwhelming display at St James' Park on Sunday saw them slip to fifth in the standings, raising doubts over their hopes of returning to the Champions League after a season-long absence.
Indeed, level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, the 'Red Devils' cannot another slip-up if they're to reignite their top-four bid and issue a statement amid controversial takeover talks.
However, Erik ten Hag's men head into proceedings on the back of three successive scoring blanks in the Premier League, accounting for their longest goal league drought since 1989.
Another failed attempt to get on the scoresheet would see United go four consecutive top-flight games without scoring for the first time in the club's history.
But there's no doubt Man Utd be motivated to avoid setting that unwanted record as they aim to avenge an embarrassing 4-0 defeat from the reverse fixture at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Despite losing their last three league visits to Old Trafford by an aggregate score of 10-1 in a run stretching back to 1939, visiting Brentford will be confident of turning their fortunes around on Wednesday.
Though they've drawn back-to-back league matches in the lead-up to this trip, the 'Bees' have only lost one of their last 16 Premier League outings (W7, D8).
What's even more impressive is that only Arsenal, Manchester City, and Newcastle have suffered fewer top-flight defeats than Thomas Frank's men (5) this term.
Yet, they have established themselves as 'stalemate connoisseurs' in the process, drawing more Premier League fixtures (13) than any other side in England's top division.
Brentford's indifferent five-match away league form (W1, D3, L1) could throw a spanner in the works, though they'll draw confidence from netting 2+ goals on their last two Premier League travels.