Manchester United vs Aston Villa Preview

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Manchester United face Aston Villa for the first time since they relegated the midlands side in 2016 from a Marcus Rashford strike in his early days at United. Since then Villa took a while to resurge but look a totally different side to the one that sank so low in the 2015/16 season and will hope to exorcise some demons at Old Trafford, here’s all you need to know:

Teams: Manchester United vs Aston Villa
Date: 01/12/2019
KO: 16:30pm GMT
Location: Old Trafford
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Dean Smith
Referee: Craig Pawson

Team News:
Scott McTominay could return after injuring himself against Brighton before the international break and with Nemanja Matic back in training and Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe returning against Astana, the squad has more experience back again. Paul Pogba is back in training but unlikely to play a role but may feature against Spurs and/or Manchester City but is not ready to play against Villa. As for Villa, Bjorn Engels is back and ready to start but with Mings and Konsa playing so well, Villa may choose to drop back to a five at the back in wake of United’s struggle to break teams down.

Manchester United struggled against Sheffield United for the majority of the game but made an amazing comeback with superb goals and build up play but fell to a controversial VAR decision and drew 3-3 at Bramall Lane. Solskjaer then made 11 changes in Kazakhstan with a very young side in a game that was a free hit and although the team played well, they did lose to the Kazakhstani champions in a narrow game.
Villa however have been playing very well and eased into a 2-0 win against Newcastle with goals from Hourihane and El Ghazi and although their results don’t show it, they have played very well and can be a threat.

Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester United have only lost once at home against Aston Villa in the Premier League winning 19 times, drawing four times. 
  • The last time Manchester United scored a Premier League hattrick was against Villa when Robin van Persie won United their last Premier League title in a 3-0 win.
  • Danie James has three assists when teeing up Marcus Rashford in the last five games – the most any Premier League player has combined with another so far this season.
  • Manchester United could surge as high as fifth in the table with a win whereas if Villa manage a shock 3-0 win, they leapfrog Manchester United in the table
I think Williams will keep his place as Shaw does not look fit yet and if McTominay’s fit he will slide into a 4-2-3-1 with Pereira moving to no.10. If not then one of three things should happen; Garner will come in for Jones and Pereira goes to no.10, Pereira stays in midfield and Juan Mata or Jesse Lingard come in at 10 to bridge the gap in midfield that was exposed against the Blades or Tuanzebe goes into midfield and any of the aforementioned three plays at 10. Any of these has to happen or United will get blindsided in midfield with Hourihane and Grealish posing a lot of threat. I think Lingard will go on the bench with McTominay and Garner comes into midfield as he was aggressive, attack-minded and confident on the ball against Astana. 
De Dea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Williams, Garner, Fred, James, Pereira, Rashford, Martial

United have to win if they are to keep pace with Spurs and aim to press for top four. They have to. I hope they do and with style and an early goal will do the world of good for that purpose. I expect a 3-0 win with a clean sheet if United are aggressive, fearless and clinical – something these players have not been since the first day but will want to be ahead of two massive games next week. 
Score – 3-0 to United

Author: TUD Author