Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Manchester United

Aston Villa vs Manchester United | Premier League | Villa Park | KO: 17:30 GMT | Sky Sports

Manchester United get the luxury of facing Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa for the second time in just five days.

United’s performance was far from convincing, but thankfully, the Reds didn’t take inspiration from the opposition manager and “slip up”. Instead, Scott Mctominay headed United into the 4th round.

It’s a different scenario though, as after United’s victory left a sour taste in the mouths of Villa fans, they will have the bit between their teeth to beat United at Villa Park in the Premier League.

How do Manchester United look?

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United went into the third round bout without Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho, and Phil Jones due to respective “issues” in terms of their fitness. However, Ralf Rangnick confirmed the quartet returned to training this week and all could be in contention to play.

“I think they will be available,” the German told the press.

“They only trained yesterday [Thursday] for the first time. Cristiano yesterday, Harry the day before yesterday. We have to wait for the final session this afternoon but as it seems right now they should be available for tomorrow [Saturday].”

United will be unable to call upon, Monday’s match-winner Mctominay and Luke Shaw as the pair serve a suspension due to an over-accumulation of yellows.

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Luke Shaw’s absence will mean Alex Telles will slot in at left-back. As for Mctominay’s midfield, replacement, the answer is on a postcard. One could guess that Fred will be partnered with Nemanja Matic, as Donny van de Beek’s chance of starting typically remain a pipe dream.

Opposition: Aston Villa

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As we saw first hand, Aston Villa look a good side. Not only did they take three points from the Reds in the reverse fixture but since Gerrard’s arrival, they have looked impressive. Their ability to constantly counter United and apply pressure on a makeshift backline made for worrying viewing from a red point of view.

The Villanova will now also be buoyed by the option of picking a long-time United foe in the form of Philipe Coutinho. The Brazilian has come up against the Reds 11 times during his spells at Liverpool and Barcelona, winning five and only losing on two occasions. The Villa boss did however suggest that Coutinho lacks match sharpness and therefore wouldn’t be involved to any great capacity. But since when did we ever trust opposition managers?

Key Stats

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Aston Villa have failed to win their last 10 home games vs Manchester United. A record that extends all the way back to August 1995. The defeat prompted the famous line “you can’t win anything with kids”.

Manchester United have scored the opening goal in 33 Premier League games vs Villa, winning 32 and drawing the remaining one.

None of Villa’s last 16 Premier League games have ended level. The Villans have lost 10 and won six games during that time.

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in 11 goals in nine Premier League starts vs Villa- the most goals he’s been involved in against a single opponent in the competition.

Prediction

United’s display have continued to concern fans for a number of months now. It doesn’t look likely that the performance will improve drastically, especially given the showing against the same opponents earlier this week.

However, one thing that was evident is United’s quality is no match for that at which Villa can muster, and that’s what won United the game. And it will do it again.

Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United

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