Patrice Evra explains his prediction for Man United v Nottingham Forest
Patrice Evra looks ahead to Man United's clash with Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on Tuesday night
Patrice Evra is tipping his old club Manchester United to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils currently find themselves in fifth place in the Premier League table and three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand over the north London club.
Manchester United have shown encouraging signs of improvement under new boss Erik ten Hag in recent games and the Dutchman will be keen for his team to kick on after the break for the World Cup.
United are set to welcome a Nottingham Forest side who find themselves 18th in the table but have only lost one of their last five outings in the Premier League.
French striker Anthony Martial appears to be back in contention for a spot in Ten Hag’s side, with the forward having played 72 minutes of Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Burnley in the League Cup on Wednesday night.
The Red Devils are also beginning life without Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal captain left Old Trafford following the termination of his contract last month.
Former Manchester United and France star Evra feels that it’s now up to the Red Devils squad to step up to the plate and prove that they are capable of handling life without Ronaldo – and he is tipping them to seal a narrow win over Forest in front of their home fans on Tuesday.
Writing in his column for Betfair, Evra said: “This is a big game. Jessie Lingard will be coming back to Old Trafford, even if he loves them he will want to hurt them in this one. It’s highly unlikely that Lisandro Martinez and [Raphael] Varane will be playing, they won’t be ready, so we will miss them in defence, but it’s a chance for Harry Maguire.
“It’s a difficult one to predict. I’m happy that Martial is back and getting some minutes. It will also be the first time that United will play without all the Cristiano Ronaldo saga, so there will be a release of pressure there for Ten Hag. I loved it when they asked him about it and he said that he is focused on the future.
“We need to stop talking about him now because he’s not a United player. The manager won’t have that pressure now and it’s up to the players now to show us how good they are.
“They can say, ‘OK, we don’t need the GOAT’ but now it’s time for them to prove it. Sometimes, it’s not as easy as that, with Cristiano in your team you still have that fear factor. It’s a big responsibility now for the players.
“There’s no negativity anymore and lets not create a new one. United are good at creating a new negativity about a player, Maguire if he has a bad performance for example. So, let’s stay positive. I’m going to stay positive and say that United will win.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford admitted that he was left impressed by the fitness levels of his team-mates that were not involved in the World Cup in Qatar.
The 25-year-old was on duty with England at the World Cup and returned to action for Manchester United on Wednesday night when he scored in their 2-0 League Cup win.
Rashford said: “I think the lads that didn’t go to the World Cup trained really well and they’ve had some tough games and they’re really fit; and from the last couple of days in training, from the lads that have been away, we’ve come back in and the standard has been really high and that’s what we need.”
He continued: “I’m pleased with the training that we’ve had and with the game today. We can kick on now and keep winning games of football because that’s what is important.”