Manchester United head to Villa Park to face Aston Villa in their first of two consecutive games this month. Erik ten Hag’s Reds will be hopeful that a win can push them into the top four with other ‘big six’ clubs facing each other this weekend.
Aston Villa’s new boss Unai Emery will be taking his first game in charge against United and will be looking to make a statement of intent to the fans.
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Villa Park
Kick Off: 14:00 UK Time
Channel: Not available on UK Television
How do Manchester United Look?Embed from Getty Images
Last time out United beat Real Sociedad 1-0 in their final Europa League group stage game. The Red Devil’s needed to win by two goals to qualify top of their group but failed to find a second. The goal came after a swift attacking move finished off by Alejandro Garnacho netting his first senior goal for the club. Like the rest of the team, Garnacho’s performance petered out in the second half as the side played more direct but the electric Argentine has put a good case forward to start on Sunday, especially with United’s injuries to attacking players.
The Reds are still struggling to score goals in games and will need to improve on their coordination in attack if they want to break into the top four. United have been solid defensively in recent weeks but improvements to their attacking play could take them to a different level. United will not be helped this weekend with the suspension to Bruno Fernandes for the accumulation of too many yellow cards forcing him to sit the game out.Embed from Getty Images
Both Antony and Jadon Sancho were absent from the squad that travelled to San Sebastian to face La Real midweek and neither player has been seen training with the squad this week. Anthony Martial also didn’t travel with the squad but was pictured in training earlier this week.
Raphael Varane will be out until the World Cup after he suffered a hamstring injury against Chelsea.
Opponents: Aston VillaEmbed from Getty Images
Unai Emery sides are typically good defensively and hard to beat, he will be looking to instil these traits into Aston Villa as soon as possible given the clubs recent form under ex-manager Steven Gerrard. Implementing that type of defensive security instantly will be easier said than done, The Villains have conceded 10 goals in their last five games in all competitions and currently find themselves sitting in 16th place in the league.
Despite their current form Villa still have dangerous attacking players who can hurt United. Fans will be all too familiar with the threat Phillipe Coutinho poses from his days with Liverpool. The Brazilian number 10 still possesses the technical ability to split defences apart with quality through balls or take aim from distance himself. Leon Baily has been a shining light at times for Aston Villa, the rapid winger has chipped in with two goals and two assists for the struggling side so far this season and will hope to improve on that under his new manager.
Key statsEmbed from Getty Images
Manchester United have not conceded a goal from open play in their last seven games
Aston Villa have one win in their last five games.
Manchester United have not lost at Villa Park since 1999
Manchester United are in good form and should capitalise on the current situation at Aston Villa but you can’t underestimate the new manager bounce. Villa Park will be rocking with support for their new manager and could be a tough challenge for The Reds. United will still be confident heading into the game, especially with the solid defensive unit that Erik ten Hag has built, if they can get their attack clicking it should be a good day for The Red Devils.
Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United