Premier League

Manchester United-Brentford Preview

Erik ten Hag is hoping for a more successful second match in charge of Manchester United after he "learnt a lot" from losing to Brighton and Hove Albion last week.

United head to Brentford on Saturday looking for their first points under Ten Hag, having been beaten by Brighton at Old Trafford in their season opener.

There was no shortage of discussion around that United result and performance, but their new manager is aiming to move on swiftly.

However, he first had to reflect on the Brighton game and identify the areas in which United have to improve.

"After every game, I analyse what went wrong and where we can improve, where we have to improve, and how we have to train," Ten Hag said. "We tell and show the players this, too, to give them the solutions.

"We learnt a lot (from the Brighton game), but it's normal when you start a season; every season in that part is the same. You have a new start, you make mistakes. Football is a game of mistakes, so we know we have to improve in many factors."

Pressure is on United and Ten Hag this weekend, but Brentford coach Thomas Frank is still expecting a stern test.

"I don't believe there's a perfect situation or bad situation to play them," he explained. "They have got a fantastic manager, they are doing everything to be successful. They lost their first game, so [they] will work even harder and do even better.

"United will be the favourites – I believe we have a good chance, but they have great players."

Brentford – Josh Dasilva

Dasilva's first season in the Premier League was wrecked by injury, as he made only two starts and had more red cards than goals. But his fine strike in the draw at Leicester City last week has already got him off the mark for the new campaign, and the midfielder will now hope to kick on.

Manchester United – Christian Eriksen

Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated headlines in recent months, but he will have to share the spotlight on Saturday. Eriksen is returning to Brentford, where he inspired their survival bid last season. "We are looking forward to seeing him again and saying hello," said Frank, "and also looking forward to competing."

– Brentford are winless in six top-flight meetings with Manchester United (D1 L5) since beating them twice in the 1936-37 season.

– Manchester United scored six Premier League goals against Brentford last season, only netting more against Leeds (nine), while against no side did the Bees concede more than they did against the Red Devils (also six vs Liverpool).

– Brentford have not lost their first home game in any of their six previous top-flight campaigns, winning five and drawing one. The Bees have scored at least twice each time, beating Arsenal 2-0 in their maiden Premier League season.

– Manchester United ended last season on a six-match away losing run, their worst away run of defeats since March 1981 (also six in a row). The Red Devils have not lost seven consecutive away league games since a run of 10 between September and December 1936.

– Since the start of last season, only Liverpool (21) and Tottenham (17) have picked up more points from losing positions in the Premier League than Brentford (16), with their 2-2 draw at Leicester the first time the Bees have recovered from a two-goal deficit.

Updated August 12, 2022