A loss to Brentford on Saturday and Manchester United could be in crisis.
Of course that sounds a bit hyperbolic given that it is just United’s second match of the season under a new manager, but the Red Devils are the world’s most famous club, thus the media frenzy surrounding them is absurd.
Though they’re odds-on favorites to win on the road at Brentford, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of United against a team that is not all that different from the one that just defeated Man U a week ago.
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If you look at their statistical profiles from last season, there’s very little that separates United from Brentford. United was the stronger offensive team, but Brentford’s defense, which finished eighth in big scoring chances allowed, was better than United’s below-average defense. Overall, United finished the season with the eighth-best expected goal differential. Brentford was 10th.
United is a much more talented side than Brentford, but this is just their second game under Erik ten Hag and it’s pretty clear the Dutchman doesn’t have the personnel he needs to execute his high-pressure style of soccer.
The market sentiment seems to indicate a lot of bettors are having a tough time believing Manchester United could start a season 0-2 and that has inflated the price on the Bees, who were absolutely terrific at home last season.
The play: Brentford +270.