Premier League: Aston Villa vs. Manchester United match preview, prediction, team news, lineups
Premier League: Aston Villa vs. Manchester United – Aston Villa, with the walls of their fortress crumbling, will try to win just their second game in six when a rejuvenated Manchester United comes to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.
In Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Chelsea, the Lions’ FA Cup journey came to an end, as the Red Devils easily defeated West Ham United 3-0 in their final Premier League match.
All good things come to an end, and for Aston Villa, that has happened. They are hosting Man United at their headquarters in the West Midlands after two straight 3-1 losses at home, which is a far cry from their historic 15-game winning streak in front of their own fans.
In the FA Cup rematch on Wednesday, few predicted Chelsea would upset the Lions. However, to the amazement of both supporters and analysts, the Blues dominated Unai Emery’s timid team from beginning to end and deservedly advanced to round five thanks to the efforts of Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson, and Enzo Fernandez before Moussa Diaby pulled one back.
Emery’s preference for knockout competitions didn’t really matter against the motivated Blues, whose victory at Villa Park came one week after Newcastle United’s corresponding victory on Villains’ land.
However, in the hosts’ most recent Premier League match, they defeated Sheffield United for five goals without answering.
Villa is still in the running to qualify for the 2024–25 Champions League. Emery’s team is currently in fourth place in the standings, but a win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday would move them up to fifth place.
If the champions defeat Everton on February 10, they will move up to eight points behind Manchester City.
Villa can still be counted on to blow the roof off at Villa Park despite their recent setbacks; they are currently on a stunning 32-game scoring streak in all competitions. However, Erik ten Hag’s rejuvenated Red Devils crop doesn’t require their own attacking masterclass.
It will take some effort for any person lucky enough to wear the Man United jersey to emulate the Holy Trinity of George Best, Denis Law, and Sir Bobby Charlton, but three of Ten Hag’s bright futures are currently contributing to the tributes to the aforementioned luminaries.
West Ham United, who defeated the Red Devils at the London Stadium as recently as December, was expected to present a difficult opponent for Man United last weekend.
However, Ten Hag’s team easily defeated the Irons, who were defeated at Old Trafford by goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund.
Man United continued their near-flawless start to 2024 as the pair invited fellow young star Kobbie Mainoo to join them arm in arm on the advertising boards.
They have won four of their five Premier League and FA Cup matches, with the lone exception being a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Man United defeated the Irons, moving them up to sixth place in the Premier League table under David Moyes. However, there is still eight points separating them from fourth-place Villa, and their 31 goals scored remain the lowest attacking total in the top flight of England.
With 11 goals in their last three games and 19 in their last seven, Ten Hag’s team has made some progress in correcting their attacking errors.
On Boxing Day, they triumphed over Villa for the third time in a row, thanks in large part to Hojlund’s emotional outburst after finally opening his Premier League account.
Aston Villa Premier League form:
D L W D L W
Aston Villa form (all competitions):
W D D L W L
Manchester United Premier League form:
L W L D W W
Manchester United form (all competitions):
L W D W W W
Morgan Rogers, an ex-Middlesbrough winger, was ruled ineligible for Aston Villa’s FA Cup loss against Chelsea. Nicolo Zaniolo and Pau Torres were also cleared to return to the matchday squad following their respective injuries.
But Ezri Konsa’s knee injury will keep him out of action for three to four weeks; Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings are also out permanently due to similar problems; attacker Jhon Duran is also recovering from a major hamstring strain.
With Lucas Digne (thigh) out of the running to make his Lions comeback this weekend, Emery ought to think about moving Jacob Ramsey, Diaby, and Torres up to the starting lineup following Wednesday’s appalling display.
Villa might benefit from a last-minute comeback, but Lisandro Martinez, the unfortunate centre defender for Man United, suffered a knee injury against West Ham at the 71-minute mark. It has since been revealed that Martinez will miss at least eight weeks of action, which is a devastating blow to his career.
Martinez joins the group of five Man United players sidelined by injuries: Tyrell Malacia (knee), Mason Mount (calf), Anthony Martial (groyne), and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (unspecified ailment) left Thursday’s practice and will miss the trip to Villa Park too.
While Hojlund attempts to become the youngest player in Man United history to score in five consecutive Premier League games, Ten Hag doesn’t need to make any changes to a successful recipe. Raphael Varane should be a direct substitution for the injured Martinez in the Red Devils defence.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Moreno; Luiz, Kamara; Diaby, Tielemans, McGinn; Watkins
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Mainoo, Casemiro; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund
Our prediction for this match 1-1 or 2-2 draw