Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Manchester United

Aston Villa vs Manchester United Down The Wings Premier League. Jack Grealish Marcus Rashford

Aston Villa vs Manchester United | Premier League| Villa Park | KO: 20:15 09/07/2020 | Sky Sports

With their top four fate firmly in their own hands, in-form Manchester United travel to relegation bound Aston Villa on Thursday night, hoping to extend their unbeaten run to sixteen games in all competitions, following their thrilling 5-2 win over Bournemouth at the weekend.

Villa, who look destined to be playing in The Championship next season, are four points from safety and currently sit eighteenth in the table.

How do Manchester United look?

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As has been the case in the previous ‘post-lockdown’ games, both Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe are the only confirmed absentees from the United squad, but fellow centre half Victor Lindelöf is a doubt for the fixture.

Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that the Swede is a doubt for the upcoming match, telling the press that “I’m not sure if he’ll manage the Villa game, but he might do”. Lindelöf was substituted at half-time against The Cherries and was replaced by Eric Bailly, who will be his most likely replacement if needed on Thursday, even though he did concede a penalty just minutes after entering the pitch.

David De Gea is set to become United’s all-time appearance maker in goal, and Solskjaer was full of praise for the Spaniard, saying “he’s had some fantastic seasons here now and next year is his 10th and I think he’s proven Eric Steele right, that we believed in him. He had a little bit of a tough ride early on, with the physicality of football in England, but for me he has been the best goalkeeper in the world over the last nine or 10 years”, showing the admiration the boss has for De Gea.

Nemanja Matic has signed a contract extension to keep him at United until 2023, and Solskjaer was asked the influence he has had on young players such as Scott McTominay. In reply, the Norwegian said “Nemanja has been on record saying that he sees himself in Scott, so the two can bounce off each other. It’s never easy. I’ve told Nemanja before that Scott is going to play and he’s all right, because he rates him and vice versa. I’m sure Scotty can learn a lot from Nemanja. The way he’s gone about his job in the last few seasons here has been good.”

Opposition: Aston Villa

Aston Villa have not looked impressive since returning to the Premier League, and are currently on a run of nine league games without a win, the longest streak currently in the division, making the matchup a seemingly easy one for the league’s most in-form team, Manchester United.

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Villa’s stand out player this season, Jack Grealish, has been linked with United for months, and the numbers he has been putting up makes it clear why.

The English attacking midfielder is second only to Kevin De Bruyne in terms of chances created in the league this season, with an impressive 82. His creative flair and quality in the middle of the pitch has brought him many fans this season, including many at United, and potentially even the boss Solskjaer himself.

Other than Grealish, Villa don’t possess to much of a threat and he is their clear danger man, and if United are able to nullify his play, then they shouldn’t face too many problems and should expect to win comfortably.

Key Stat

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Mason Greenwood has been in great form following the season’s continuation, and put on his most impressive display against Bournemouth at the weekend, scoring two impressive goals.

Greenwood scores goals that are unexpected, and that are mostly likely not destined to hit the back of the net. His expected goals (xG) for the season is 2.4, meaning that his chances would be expected to have produced 2.4 goals in the league.

However, in reality, Greenwood has scored eight league goals this season, meaning he has scored over three times as many goals that he would have been expected to, making him one of the most ruthless and clinical attackers in the division.


Manchester United 3-0 Aston Villa. Goals from Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford (2)

Match Preview Writer

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