How to follow Brentford v United
Here's our comprehensive guide to Manchester United's next match, a rearranged first trip to Brentford in the Premier League...
The game at the Brentford Community Stadium, which was originally scheduled for 14 December but was postponed due to COVID-19, kicks off this Wednesday night at 20:00 GMT. It will be broadcast live on BT Sport in the UK. MUTV's coverage will begin when Matchday Live goes on air at 18:55 GMT - the show will include pre-match build-up, live match radio commentary and post-match analysis. You can also can follow the game with live updates via ManUtd.com and our Official App.
Ralf Rangnick made three changes to his line-up for Saturday's draw at Aston Villa and could make a similar number again with Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw eligible for selection after serving their one-game suspensions. Harry Maguire is also an option after returning to the matchday squad as an unused substitute at the weekend. Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo both missed the Villa match altogether due to a dead leg and hip flexor problem respectively and Rangnick was hopeful the attacking duo would be available at Brentford after not being risked on the Midlands trip.
As for Brentford, they were without the injured David Raya, Julian Jeanvier, Tariqe Fosu, Zanka, Charlie Goode and Josh Dasilva for Sunday's 3-0 away defeat to Liverpool, while Frank Onyeka - like United's Eric Bailly and Hannibal - is away on Africa Cup of Nations duty. Rico Henry was back in the West Londoners' XI at Anfield, following hamstring trouble, but had to be replaced after 49 minutes by Sergi Canos who was also making a return.
United have still lost only once under Ralf Rangnick, whose eight games otherwise comprise four wins and three draws. The Reds have the Premier League's best record in terms of scoring in every away match so far this season, 10 fixtures in total. The most recent of these was at Newcastle on 27 December when Edinson Cavani's 71st-minute equaliser cancelled out Allan Saint-Maximin's early opener.
Brentford's reverse at Liverpool was their second consecutive defeat by a three-goal margin, following last Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Southampton. Before that, the boot was on the other foot as the Bees stung League Two side Port Vale by the same scoreline when visiting the Potteries in the Emirates FA Cup third round. Thomas Frank's side have only played one home game since the turn of the year and won that one, beating Aston Villa 2-1 on 2 January. Either side of Christmas, they notably hosted Chelsea in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and Manchester City in the Premier League, only losing 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.
A charismatic 48-year-old, Thomas Frank was a dedicated youth coach for nearly two decades before moving into the senior game at Brondby IF. He joined Brentford as assistant coach in 2016 and replaced Dean Smith as head coach two years later, achieving two successive third-placed Championship finishes and eventually play-off glory in 2021. A former student of Physical Education and Sports Psychology in Denmark, Frank's sides, who normally set up in a 4-3-3, play with high intensity in their pressing, movement and passing. He is the Premier League's second Danish manager, following Michael Laudrup's stint at Swansea City from 2012 to 2014.
A NEW GROUND
The Bees left their historic Griffin Park home in 2020, moving into the newly-built Brentford Community Stadium for their arrival in the top flight. That makes it the third new ground for United fans to visit this season, having experienced the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since lockdown and then Atalanta's Gewiss Stadium in early November. Another new venue awaits in February: Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano.
London calling: United have picked up at least one point from the last 12 Premier League away games in London, with our last defeat in the capital being January 2020's loss to Arsenal, 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Midweek wins: The Reds have a higher Premier League win rate on Wednesday nights (61 per cent) than any other team that has spent at least one campaign in the competition. United have triumphed in 71 of the 116 games to fall on that day of the week.
United and Brentford haven't faced off competitively for more than 40 years - the last time was in 1975, when goals from Lou Macari and Sammy McIlroy gave the Reds a League Cup second-round victory at Old Trafford. The previous encounter was back in April 1947, when the clubs drew 0-0 in the league at Griffin Park - only against Bradford (1921 to 1999) have we had a longer gap between top-flight meetings.
However, we did come up against Brentford last summer as the Theatre of Dreams was lit up by a string of stunning goals in a pre-season friendly. Anthony Elanga's fantastic volley put United ahead before Shandon Baptiste's sensational edge-of-the-box dipper beat Tom Heaton to equalise. Andreas Pereira's volley made jaws drop when it rattled in off the crossbar into the top right corner, and then Mbeumo curled in an excellent leveller 12 minutes from time.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Simon Long, Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Andy Madley
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY
Burnley v Watford (19:30 GMT)
Brighton v Chelsea (20:00 GMT)
WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY
Leicester City v Tottenham (19:30 GMT)
Brentford v UNITED (20:00 GMT)
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