Manchester United welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup this evening. It will be the first time that Steven Gerrard will manage a team at the Theatre of Dreams and the first time that United will have played in a week, following their dreadful defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers almost a week ago. United need to kick back and earn their place in the fourth round of the competition, or face yet more discontent from the supporters. It is time to stand up and be counted, not sit there sulking and expect sympathy because you have to go home from work in the dark and train more.
United have a big problem at the club. There seems to be a distinct lack of ambition at the club which can only come from the top. High wages are paid to players who have no belief in the club nor care about the club. That is what it looks like. There is so much money in this game now that mediocre players are earning scandalous sums of money to kick a ball around a football pitch, seemingly thinking that they will be praised like gods off the pitch, which is never going to be the case. In the not too distant future, if could be a case of what these players had and lost down to their own selfishness. It is time to find a backbone and do something.
Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw;
Heaton; Telles, Wan-Bissaka; Mata, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek; Amad, Elanga
Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett;
McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey;
Steer, Sinisalo, Sanson, El Ghazi, Hause, Philogene-Bidace, Chukwuemeka, Archer, Iroegbunam
United and Villa have played a total of 12 matches in the history of the FA Cup. United have won ten matches with Villa winning the remaining three matches. United have scored a total of 29 goals. Villa have scored 14 goals. United have kept a total of three clean sheets with Villa keeping a total none in these matches. This will be a big match for United – coming off the back of a defeat to Wolves in their last Premier League match, also with the fact that Villa have already beaten them 1-0 in the league this season – which was played at Old Trafford on the 25 September 2021. Rangnick will need to get this team performing – which will be tough.
Villa and United both have history with many players wearing the shirts of both teams through the years. Axel Tuanzebe is the most recent, although his loan spell has now ended with him heading to Napoli for the rest of the season. Ron Atkinson, a former United manager, played for both United and Villa. Peter Schmeichel also played for Villa a year after leaving United. Eric Djemba-Djemba, Mark Bosnich, Dwight Yorke and Ashley Young, who left Villa for United, then Inter Milan and re-signed for Villa this summer. Tom Cleverley was once loaned to Villa, Steve Bruce is a former manager of theirs and Roy Keane as assistant manager.
Written by John Walker