Manchester United vs Aston Villa FA Cup Preview

A Chance for United to reignite season with a win in the FA Cup?

Manchester United host Aston Villa in the FA Cup 3rd Round. After a disappointing loss to Wolves at Old Trafford, United have had a week off to work out how to solve the problems on and off the pitch. There seem to be rumours of general unhappiness and cliques forming at the club and while some players such as Fred, Rashford, Fernandes and Maguire have silenced some of the rumours there are still problems at the club. The football has been inconsistent and often shoddy and the players have lost some of the spark and chemistry they had under Ole.

Rangnick needs to turn around the club’s fortunes but a lot of the ‘work’ has to be done on the pitch by the players. On Monday they face Aston Villa who have been very impressive under Steven Gerrard. Villa will field a strong team as winning the cup could emphasise the progress Villa have made under Gerrard. For United, the FA Cup can provide United with a much-needed trophy. This team hasn’t won any silverware yet. One of the biggest criticisms of the Solskjaer reign. United have to win trophies and soon. But they have to put in the performances in games like these. Here’s all you need to know:

Manchester United vs Aston Villa FA Cup Match Info:

Teams: Manchester United and Aston Villa
Date: Monday 10th January 2022
KO Time: 19:55 GMT
Stadium: Old Trafford
Managers: Ralf Rangnick and Steven Gerrard
Referee: Michael Oliver

FA Cup draw in full: Man Utd get Gerrard's Aston Villa as minnows land dream Chelsea tie | Football | Sport |
Image from the Daily Express

Team News:

Manchester United

Manchester United will be without Paul Pogba until at least the 20th of February. Harry Maguire is yet to train as of Friday but may be in line for a return. Victor Lindelof is back in training and could be part of the starting XI on Monday. Eric Bailly and Hannibal Mejbri remain on international duty at the AFCON in Cameroon.

Aston Villa

Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings are available for selection after missing the Brentford game. However new signing, Philippe Coutinho will have to wait until the Premier League encounter at Villa Park to make his debut. Kourtney Hause and Ashley Young may be doubts for the match. Bertrand Traore and Mahmoud Trezeguet are at the AFCON with Burkina Faso and Egypt respectfully.

Interesting Facts:

  • Manchester United have lost eight times already this season. Five of which have been at home including a 0-1 loss to Aston Villa.
  • Manchester United have not lost back-to-back games against Aston Villa since 1992.
  • The last time Manchester United played Villa in the FA Cup was a 2-0 win in which Rooney and Ronaldo scored late on. Both Ashley Young and Cristiano Ronaldo played in that fixture in 2008 and could feature 14 years on.
  • Bruno Fernandes has taken a penalty in every game he has played against Aston Villa. He has scored three out of four. Each time he has scored a penalty, United won the game.

Predicted XI:

Ralf Rangnick has said that he will only make a few changes and start a strong side. I can see a couple of players not starting just to trial a few things. I’d like to see Fred start this game as his energy will be much-needed alongside Matic who was better than McTominay against Wolves. Lindelof should come in for Jones who, while playing well against Wolves, may not be risked if he is to play a part in United’s season. Ronaldo should be rested as he won’t get many chances once the fixture list tightens up and it would be good to see Greenwood back as the number 9. I would be interested to see if Rangnick keeps the 4-2-2-2 despite the narrowness being exploited. I would hope he goes for a 4-2-3-1 with Fernandes at 10. It will be a good chance to showcase what some of the players can do and if they can force themselves into the starting XI that has been underwhelming lately.

Predicted XI: Henderson; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; Matic, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho; Greenwood

Predicted Score:

I expect United to give the fans a show. They’ve had a week without fixtures, they have been training and preparing all week, there are no excuses. They know what’s been coming out in the news with questions over their commitment. Now is a chance to prove that wrong in front of a full Old Trafford crowd. I’d like to hope they will do just that instead of another glum and pathetic performance.

United to win 3-0.

Author: Arjun Handa

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