Manchester United will look to make it four straight victories in all competitions when they travel to Villa Park to play Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Red Devils are currently fifth in the standings with 23 points, one point behind fourth-place Newcastle United, while Villa are currently in 16th place, one point outside the relegation zone after a poor start.
Aston Villa Vs Manchester United Preview
On Friday, Unai Emery was formally introduced as Villa’s new head coach. This marks the Spaniard’s return to the Premier League after a brief stint at Arsenal from May 2018 to November 2019.
The 51-year-old struggled to establish himself at the Emirates Stadium, but he has subsequently achieved success at Villarreal. Speaking at his launch, Emery declared his intention to end Villa’s trophy drought and guide them back into European competition.
Though Villa has struggled this season, winning three, drawing three, and losing seven of its 13 Premier League games to sit in 16th place in the league, the seasoned head coach will be mindful of the scale of the job he has taken on.
On October 23, Villa defeated Brentford 4-0 to kick off life without Steven Gerrard. However, they lost 4-0 to Newcastle the following weekend, and it is safe to say that consistency has been a big problem.
“My dream is to win a trophy with Aston Villa. It’s my personal challenge at the beginning. My second objective could be to play with Aston Villa in Europe. Now we have to start thinking only about the next match because we are not in a good position in the table,” Emery stated on Friday.
Amazingly, Villa hasn’t defeated Man United at Villa Park since October 1999, and their last home league victory over the 20-time English champions was back in August 1995. Villa will play Man United again in the EFL Cup on Thursday.
In fact, both of Man United’s most recent Premier League losses against Villa have occurred at Old Trafford, including a 1-0 loss from last season that was decided by a goal from Kortney Hause in the 88th minute of play.
But a lot has happened at the team since then, and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claimed that Man United “are coming back” after a challenging few years.
The Red Devils’ 2022–23 Premier League season started with losses to Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion, but since then, they have won seven, drawn twice, and lost only one, dramatically improving under the direction of new head coach Erik ten Hag.
They now sit in fifth position in the standings with a record of 23 points from 12 games, one point behind fourth-place Newcastle and three behind third-place Tottenham Hotspur, and one game remaining against both of the teams above them.
Last weekend, Ten Hag’s team defeated West Ham United 1-0 in the league thanks to Marcus Rashford’s 100th goal for the team. On Thursday, Ten Hag’s team defeated Real Sociedad 1-0 in the Europa League thanks to Alejandro Garnacho’s debut senior goal.
But because Man United placed second in their Europa League division, they will have to compete in a two-legged playoff in February to find out if they will advance to the competition’s last-16 round.
On Sunday, Villa will once again be without Boubacar Kamara, Ludwig Augustinsson, and Diego Carlos due to injury, but Emiliano Martinez, who is recovering from head injury that forced him out against Newcastle, should start in goal.
There won’t be many opportunities for huge surprises in Emery’s starting lineup because he won’t have had much time to evaluate his players.
Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins should both start once more, while the hosts can count on Leon Bailey to play in a variety of positions.
Following the loss at St. James’ Park, Ashley Young and Emiliano Buendia may be the two players to be replaced by John McGinn and Lucas Digne in the starting lineup.
With regard to Man United, Ten Hag has acknowledged that he is unsure of the availability of Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, and Antony this weekend.
Sancho (sickness) and Antony (knock) may be able to overcome their problems to play, with the latter being thought to have the best chance of making the starting XI at Villa Park. Martial is back in training as he attempts to recover from a back ailment and could make the bench.
While Raphael Varane, Axel Tuanzebe, and Brandon Williams are still out due to injury, Bruno Fernandes’ suspension may allow Fred to start.
When it comes to the middle of his defense, Ten Hag has make a big choice, and Victor Lindelof may end up starting with Lisandro Martinez rather than Harry Maguire.
Rashford, who unexpectedly came off the bench against Real Sociedad, is anticipated to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who has nine goals against Villa in his career.
E Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Dendoncker, Luiz, McGinn; Watkins, Ings, Bailey
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, L Martinez, Shaw; Fred, Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Ronaldo, Rashford
Aston Villa Vs Manchester United Prediction
The threat Villa could provide under their new head coach will make Man United concerned, and Villa will have a strategy to stop the 20-time English champions on Sunday.
We believe that the Red Devils will find this to be a very challenging game, but given their recent record, we are siding with the visitors in this one to win 2-1.