Manchester United head to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon as we face Aston Villa looking to rubber-stamp second place in the league. It is set to be a hectic schedule over the next week as we will play four games in the space of seven days.
Sunday’s game will be the second match of this four-game week as we then play both Leicester City and Liverpool on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. The timing of the rearranged fixture against the Merseysiders has not been welcomed by Ole Gunnar Solskjær or Jurgen Klopp.
Though we were beaten in the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals, United ultimately went through with a 8-5 aggregate win. Thanks to in-form David De Gea, we did not concede even more against Roma on Thursday evening.
Progress Under Ole
The Red Devils have only lost four games so far all season, which is one less than our rivals and Champions in waiting, Manchester City. We have only been defeated once in the last 27 matches and are currently unbeaten in the last thirteen league games.
With a place inside the top four looking ever more secure, victory over Villarreal in the Europa League final would cap a good season for United. It would also show the progress that has been made under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær and enable us to go on and achieve more success.
Our league away record has been excellent as we have picked up seven more points than at Old Trafford this season. United are now unbeaten in the last 24 league away games – just three short of Arsenal’s all-time top-flight record.
In this calendar year, we have kept seven clean sheets and only conceded 3 goals in the last 10 matches. This fine form could see us go unbeaten away from home all season.
Aston Villa’s record at home to United is not great as the West Midlands side have only won one of the last 44 Premier League games at Villa Park. They come into the fixture having beaten Everton 2-1 last weekend, which had preceded three games without a victory.
The win against the Toffees lifted Villa into the top half of the table. Another victory on Sunday would see them have back-to-back consecutive wins since December. They have not beaten a team inside the top two positions of the league since March 2014. Since the beginning of the year, their form has taken a dip having lost nine league games. They had lost four games previous to that.
Aston Villa have had a much better season compared to last season. They were fighting relegation and only secured their top-flight status on the final day. They will now be hoping to finish inside the top half come the end of this season.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Match Details
Teams: Aston Villa vs Manchester United
Date: May 9th, 2020 (Sunday)
KO Time: 14:05 BST
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Villa Park
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Managers: Dean Smith and Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Manchester United Team News
For United, Ole Gunnar Solskjær did report that Anthony Martial is recovering well from his knee injury. He may feature at some point during the last few games of the season if all goes well. Daniel James could be out for a little while after he did not travel for the Roma game.
Other than that, there are no other injury concerns to report. Solskjær will look to manage his side carefully over the next week with the number of games to play. Marcus Rashford, Dean Henderson, Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay are expected to return to the starting eleven.
Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka who were substituted at half time against Roma should be feeling fresh for Sunday’s game. Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes could also line up against Villa after all being taken off near the end of the game on Thursday.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about our opponents ahead of the game on Sunday afternoon. He said, “I think they’re a very good team, you saw them last week beat Everton. They’ve had a very good season, they had a little spell with some worse results but we played them in a pre-season friendly before this season, and lost. We won a hard-fought game 2-1 at Old Trafford, we know it’s going to be tough but we’re looking forward to it. You know the energy that we used tonight will probably be filled up twice because of getting to a final. I think we’ll recover, refuel. We’re looking forward to this game, the players are looking forward to it, they know it’s a big game for us.”
Ole was also asked about the fixture congestion having to play five games over the next ten days. He said, “Two games in three days is difficult but you can accept that, we do that at Christmas. Two games in three days after a long season with all the games we’ve had is even more difficult. Three games in five days is very, very difficult, almost impossible. And four games in eight, it is impossible. But I think you all know me or I hope you do anyway. We’ll take the challenge head-on and I’m not sitting here sulking but I’m just saying some there do not understand the physicality of the Premier League – it’s the best league in the world.”
Aston Villa Team News
For our opponents, they will be without captain Jack Grealish as he recovers from his shin injury. Manager Dean Smith is hoping he will be available soon to play in the remaining league fixtures.
Trezeguet is set to be on the sidelines for a while after having surgery on his knee. This will see Anwar El Ghazi getting more opportunities and has scored in his last two league games. Villa’s goal threat will come from Ollie Watkins, who has scored seven goals against the so called ‘big six’ clubs this season.
Manchester United Premier League form: WWWWWD
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWWDWL
Aston Villa Premier League form: LWLLDW
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 21 Premier League away games against Aston Villa since a 3-1 loss on the opening day of the 1995-96 campaign. It’s the longest unbeaten away run one side has had against another in English top-flight history. (source: BBC Sport)
- Manchester United are unbeaten in 24 Premier League away games (W15, D9), just three short of Arsenal’s top-flight record set between April 2003 and September 2004. (source: BBC Sport)
- Bruno Fernandes has scored in both of his Premier League appearances against Aston Villa. Both were from the penalty spot, and both ended up being the winning goal. (source: BBC Sport)
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Predicted Lineup
Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba, and Cavani.
It is a big week for United due to the number of games to be played in a short amount of time. Ole Gunnar Solskjær will have to rotate his squad to prevent any risk of injury or burnout. We have a good record at Villa Park having not lost the last 21 Premier League games there. A victory for us on Sunday would effectively seal a top two finish in the league.
Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United