Manchester United vs Aston Villa | Premier League | Old Trafford | KO 12:30 GMT |
Manchester United crashed out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, with a toothless performance in their 1-0 defeat to West Ham United.
The majority of the ‘fringe’ players that featured against The Irons did little to improve their status within the squad and will not expect to get many Premier League minutes in the near future.
United now play host to Aston Villa in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday, with the first-teamers expected to return and put in a better showing than their replacements.
How do Manchester United Look?
The likes of Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot did themselves no favours against West Ham and should surely play no part in this weekend’s clash.
Two players that caught the eye due to their encouraging performances were Jesse Lingard and Donny Van de Beek; the latter putting in a real shift to show his commitment to the club, and determination to fight for his place at United.
There have been many questions over Van de Beek’s future, and the role that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees him playing whilst at Old Trafford, but his performance on Wednesday night will have encouraged the boss to trust him more this season.
Lingard continued his impressive form and was United’s biggest threat on the night.Embed from Getty Images
Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani is yet to feature for The Reds so far this season, after having an extended break in the summer, and having picked up an injury in training a couple of weeks ago.
He is, however, now ready to make his return to the side, with Solskjaer confirming that he will be in the squad to face Villa.
“Edinson has joined in training fully after that game and he’s held his hand up and is ready” said the boss.
The role which Cavani will play this season with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to be seen.
Whether he will play alongside the legendary forward, or as a rotation to him, is unknown.
Either way, it is refreshing to have such strength in depth in attack, something that United have lacked in recent times.
The only confirmed absentees remain Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo, who are both injured.
Opposition: Aston VillaEmbed from Getty Images
Aston Villa, who lost their star man, Jack Grealish, in the summer, have encountered an indifferent start to their Premier League campaign.
They have won just two of their opening five league fixtures, but their most recent game saw them beat Everton 3-0, so may come into this match on a high.
Unsurprisingly, new signings Danny Ings and Leon Bailey have impressed so far this season, but the Jamaican winger is out with an injury, meaning Ings will offer the biggest threat to Solskjaer’s defence
United loanee Axel Tuanzebe is ineligible to play against his parent club.
United will go top of the league if they win on Saturday, and with Chelsea playing Manchester City this weekend, it could be a vital three points for United.
Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa.