Manchester United currently sit fourth in the Premier League and, despite a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United in their last game, are well in the race for a top-four finish this campaign.
We caught up with Manchester United reporter Tom McDermott to get his thoughts ahead of Brentford's clash with the Carabao Cup winners at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Manchester United are fourth in the Premier League and seemingly on the way back to their best in Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge. How would you summarise the way it’s gone to date?
There have been some bumps along the way, but United supporters can see the progress that has been made this season. The Carabao Cup success is a good example and their form, particularly at home, has been superb.
I do not think there is a United fan that is unhappy with the work Ten Hag has done so far; he has been brilliant on and off the field.
While a late charge for the title now looks unlikely, United have won the Carabao Cup already, reached the semi-final of the FA Cup and the quarter-final of the Europa League. Do you rate their chances of completing a treble of sorts?
I still think that, if United secure a top-four spot, alongside the already won Carabao Cup, then that will have been a great season for them.
The 'best' starting XI is excellent, but the squad needs more work in some key areas, which means a treble is out of the question this season, I am afraid to say.
To say Marcus Rashford has been unplayable this season looks to be something of an understatement. What has helped him bounce back from a poor 2021/22 to reach new heights this term?
I think it has been a combination of the manager coming in with some excellent coaching staff, and Rashford himself realising what he could become.
Rashford has carried United at times this season and has clearly worked on his finishing, timing of runs, and decision-making in the final third.
It has proved to be a lethal cocktail and one that the opposition at home and abroad have struggled to deal with.
Other than Rashford, which player should Brentford fans keep an eye on at Old Trafford?
If it was not for his suspension I would have said Casemiro. Given the opposition, though, and how quickly he was written off after Brentford hammered United earlier in the season, I would probably go for Lisandro Martinez.
Since that horrible afternoon, the Argentinian has established himself as one of United’s better players, won the Carabao Cup, and World Cup. It has not been a bad recovery.
How is Ten Hag likely to set up his side on Wednesday?
It will be a 4-3-3 formation, with Bruno Fernandes and Rashford expected to make things happen and cause problems in the Brentford half.
Rashford had a ‘rest’ during the international break, so I am expecting him to look fresh and ready to continue his fantastic form in front of goal.
Brentford famously won the last meeting 4-0 back earlier in the season. What’s your score prediction this time around?
I think it will be a close game, but I’m backing United to win 2-1.