Manchester United will have to be wary of Brentford's top-tackler Norgaard
Manchester United’s midfielders cannot afford to be lackadaisical in possession otherwise Brentford’s Christian Norgaard could punish them.
After serving his one-match suspension at Villa Park, Scott McTominay is likely to come back into the side for Nemanja Matic and once again partner Fred in the heart of United’s midfield.
Thomas Frank’s Brentford will be targeting a big upset against Ralf Rangnick’s side, and the Reds will have to rise to the challenge.
The Bees are going to feed off an electric atmosphere at the Brentford Community Stadium, and United are likely to be hassled and harried in possession.
The newly-promoted side beat Arsenal at home on the opening day of the season, and also drew 3-3 against Liverpool in front of their own fans.
Chelsea and Manchester City may have come away with the three points thanks to 1-0 wins, but Frank’s men have more than carried a threat against the league’s top sides.
Norgaard will pounce on sloppy Reds
Apart from the old snippet of positive play, United’s recent performances have been sloppy and lacklustre.
There has been a clear lack of urgency and tempo in our passing and we cannot afford to be reproduce a pedestrian performance against the Bees.
That’s because Brentford possess Norgaard, who has won the joint-highest tackles across Europe’s top five leagues, so far this season.
According to FBref, alongside Empoli’s Petar Stojanovic, Norgaard has won 53 tackles so far this season from an attempted 78 challenges.
With the Denmark international ready to pounce on any United mistakes, Fred and McTominay in-particular are going to have to be decisive in possession and move the ball quickly.
With the Brentford players feeding off the supporters, United’s best chance of silencing the crowd is by shifting the ball with purpose.
If we break the press and get our matchwinners running at Brentford’s defenders in a one-v-one situation, then we are likely going to have ample chances to score goals.
But if we dawdle on the ball and don’t play one and two-touch football, Norgaard could catch the likes of Fred out, who is susceptible to losing concentration, and give the likes of Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo opportunities through turnovers.
Manchester United need to be switched on at all times otherwise Brentford could make it another chastening evening.
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