Manchester United welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford this afternoon in the Premier League. United will be seeking to continue their home form this season and get all three points in the bag after failing to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the league on Thursday evening, drawing 2-2 from leading 2-0 at the end of the first half. noted sit in fourth place in the Premier League for the time being, six points clear of both Villa and Spurs with two games in hand over them.
Villa look set to push for European football next season with their league position, sitting a point above seventh placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand. It could be a good run for Villa if they are able to finish in a position to gain European football next season. United though have a foot in the UEFA Champions League next season and that will require them to win their next two or three matches to have a great chance of finishing in the top four this season.
Villa have seemingly turned a new leaf following the arrival of former Arsenal and Sevilla manager Unai Emery, who is definitely a much better fit for the club following the departure of Steven Gerrard earlier in the season. What he’s done at Villa has been largely positive, taking them from near the bottom of the Premier League to a position whereby they will be challenging for Europe next season – whether the UEFA Europa League or the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Dalot, Lindelof, Shaw, Malacia;
Fernandes, Sabitzer, Eriksen, Sancho;
Butland; Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Williams; Fred, Pellistri; Martial, Antony, Weghorst
Young, Konsa, Mings, Moreno;
McGinn, Buendia, Ramsey;
Olsen; Carlos, Chambers, Digne, Revan; O’Reilly, Young; Traore, Duran
United and Villa have met 55 times in the Premier League. United have won 37 times, drawn 13 times and lost five times. United have scored 100 goals, winning seven penalties, scoring five of them. Villa have scored 37 goals, won one penalty, scoring it. United have kept 27 clean sheets with Villa keeping seven. Discipline has been an issue with United players shown 82 yellow cards and three red cards. Villa players have been shown 78 yellow cards and four red cards.
Earlier in the season United and Villa faced off at Villa Park. Leon Bailey and Lucas Digne had Villa 2-0 up in 11 minutes. A Jacob Ramsey own goal got United back into the match but a few minutes into the second half, the Villa forward righted his wrong and put Villa 3-1 up in the clash with them taking the all important three points. United have two matches in hand over Villa and are currently six points clear but United will need to win this match and win it well.
Peter Schmeichel, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Mark Bosnich, Dwight Yorke, Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley have all played for United and Villa. Steve Bruce was a former manager for Villa and player for United and Roy Keane was a former assistant manager and player for United. Out of these players, it would be treble winners Schmeichel and Yorke who have achieved the most whilst playing for United with Young also featuring – and still playing for Villa now.
Written by John Walker