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Premier League: Stuttering Man Utd set for Brentford test while West Ham host Newcastle

There are two games taking place in the Premier League on Wednesday evening with Manchester United taking on Brentford at Old Trafford while the London Stadium sees West Ham United host Newcastle United.

Erik ten Hag's Red Devils have enjoyed a good season so far under the Dutchman, winning the Carabao Cup against Newcastle in February, while they are also still in with a chance of lifting the FA Cup and Europa League.

However, their league form has taken a slight downturn in recent weeks and they need to sharpen up otherwise finishing outside of the top four is a real possibility. As it stands, United are 2/7 to earn a spot in the Champions League next season. 

They take on a Brentford side who are notoriously difficult to beat and have European ambitions of their own - Thomas Frank's Bees currently lie seventh in the Premier League table and although they are 16/1 to finish in the top six, they are showing few signs of slowing down. 

West Ham grabbed a big win against Southampton at the weekend and all points are invaluable down the bottom in what is a hugely competitive race to avoid the drop. They face Newcastle, a 1/2 shout to achieve a top-four finish, who are buoyed by their excellent 2-0 win over Manchester United. 

Ten Hag's United look to get over poor spell

WhatManchester United v Brentford
WhereOld Trafford, Manchester
When20:00, Wednesday 5th April
How to watchN/A
OddsManchester United 13/20, Draw 3/1, Brentford 4/1

Even though Ten Hag is widely regarded to have done a good job with United so far, a top-four place is by no means a certainty and they go into their game against Brentford sat in fifth, outside the elite by virtue of goal difference.

The 7-0 annihilation at the hands of their arch-rivals Liverpool appears to have given them a slight hangover as Man United haven't scored in their subsequent two Premier League games.

An easy 5-1 aggregate win over Real Betis in the Europa League has helped quash any major concerns but Ten Hag's side looked distinctly second best at Newcastle on Sunday.

They are struggling for goals right now with the likes of Brentford and Brighton outscoring them this season, and their goal difference is only at +4 which could be significant as the season nears its conclusion.

Wout Weghorst has struggled to make an impact leading the line at Old Trafford and their attack has struggled in recent games with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford having off periods.

Rashford in particular has had a great season this year and he can be backed at 11/10 to add to his 27 goals this season at any point during the game. 

Brentford defying expectations

Not many would have predicted that Brentford would become one of toughest teams to get past in the Premier League this season but Thomas Frank has done a magnificent job.

On a comparative shoestring budget, as Frank pointedly remarked over the weekend, the Bees are looking good to at least give themselves Europa Conference League football next season, in only their second-ever campaign of Premier League football.

Everything about them seems to work at the minute - they have a sturdy defence, a simultaneously creative and destructive midfield, and, in Ivan Toney, a centre-forward who is operating at the peak of his powers.

Brentford have been beaten only once in their last 16 top-flight games with highlights including a 2-1 smash and grab against Manchester City at the Etihad, alongside a draw at Arsenal and home win versus Liverpool.

The Bees humbled United 4-0 in their second game of the season and while United are a much-changed unit since that debacle, they will still face a tough examination.

Brentford in the Double Chance result is therefore available to back at 6/5 and with United's ropey form, it could be another great night for the west Londoners.

Newcastle buoyant after performance of the season

WhatWest Ham v Newcastle
WhereLondon Stadium
When20:00, Wednesday 5th April
How to watchSky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League
OddsWest Ham 13/5, Draw 9/4, Newcastle 23/20

While Newcastle only beat Manchester United 2-0 at St James' Park on Sunday, it could have been more and was arguably their most impressive result in what has been a magnificent season.

The Magpies were excellent in all departments but had to remain patient before the breakthrough on 65 minutes thanks to Joe Willock.

Callum Wilson added the cushion two minutes before time to further reinvigorate their hopes of Champions League football.

They had gone five Premier League games without victory through February but a hat-trick of wins against Wolves, Nottingham Forest, and United has firmly put them back in contention for the top-four.

Improvements were obviously expected from a side that spent vastly in the summer, but finishing so high would still be an astonishing achievement for Eddie Howe's side.

Alexander Isak now appears to be the undisputed number-one centre-forward and his form suggests he could be a big player for the rest of the season having scored three in three Premier League games - he is priced at 2/1 to score anytime on Wednesday. 

Hammers look to give themselves a breather

West Ham's 1-0 win against bottom side Southampton at the weekend was absolutely vital as they look to avoid what would be deemed a shock relegation from the Premier League.

David Moyes has guided them to European finishes in each of the last two seasons but this year has been a real struggle with West Ham winning only seven of their 27 top-flight games.

They are at least improving at the London Stadium however and have not lost a game there in 2023 with December defeat to Brentford the last time they were turned over in the Premier League. They are priced at 4/6 in the Double Chance market. 

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