Preview: United beat Villa at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup and will need to do the same again in the Premier League – three points a must

Manchester United -v- Aston Villa

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 30 April 2023, KO 14:00 BST

Manchester United welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Sunday 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.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists – DWLWDW

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 D, Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 (7-6) W, Sevilla 3-0 L, Nottingham Forest 2-0 W, Sevilla 2-2 D, Everton 2-0 W

Goals: 29 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 8 – Antony, 7 – Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, 6 – Fred, 5 – Casemiro, Own Goal, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcel Sabitzer, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw

Assists: 12 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Christian Eriksen, Marcus Rashford, 6 – Casemiro, Luke Shaw, 5 – Fred, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Anthony Martial, Wout Weghorst, 2 – Antony, Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Marcel Sabitzer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Aston Villa – Form, Goals Scored & Assists – WDWWWW

Fulham 1-0 W, Brentford 1-1 D, Newcastle United 3-0 W, Nottingham Forest 2-0 W, Leicester City 2-1 W, Chelsea 2-0 W

Goals: 15 – Ollie Watkins, 7 – Danny Ings, 5 – Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendía, Douglas Luiz, 4 – Jacob Ramsey, 2 – Lucas Digne, Bertrand Traoré, 1 – Philippe Coutinho, John McGinn, Tyrone Mings, Morgan Sanson, Ashley Young

Assists: 6 – Jacob Ramsey, Ollie Watkins, 5 – Douglas Luiz, 3 – Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendía, John McGinn, Álex Moreno, 2 – Danny Ings, Tyrone Mings, 1 – Matty Cash, Boubacar Kamara

Previous Meetings & Connections

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.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez (ankle/foot), Donny van de Beek (knee), Raphael Varane (ankle/foot) and Tom Heaton (ankle) will miss the clash with Villa due to injury. Both Van de Beek and Martinez are out for the remainder of the season. Varane could be back in time for the Emirates FA Cup final and Heaton could also be back soon. Alejandro Garnacho (ankle) will return to training ahead of the Villa match, so could be involved on the bench of left until next week.

Scott McTominay (knock) has been missing for a few weeks. He has not been ruled out but is merely a 25% chance for being involved against Villa. Kobbie Mainoo is also currently injured although United have more midfielders available with Fred and Marcel Sabitzer both available. United will need to get the balance of the team right so they squad does not tire towards the end of the match. Keeping players fit and not fatigued is needed at this stage of the season.

Jed Steer (calf/shin/heel), Philippe Coutinho (thigh), Leon Bailey (thigh), Boubacar Kamara (ankle/foot) and Matty Cash (calf/shin/heel) have all been ruled out of the visit to Old Trafford on Sunday through injury. Emery has Villa playing some good football of late and they will be seeking to do the double over United and ending their 26-match unbeaten run at Old Trafford this season, which has turned the Theatre of Dreams into a fortress once again.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Antony, Fernandes, Sancho;

Rashford

Predicted Aston Villa Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

Martinez;

Young, Konsa, Mings, Moreno;

Dendoncker, Luiz;

McGinn, Buendia, Ramsey;

Watkins

Match Prediction

United have played well in their last two matches following their 3-0 defeat to Sevilla but on Sunday in the Emirates FA Cup semi final against Brighton and Hove Albion, they could not find the back of the net – neither could Brighton.They won the penalty shoot out though. United started out much better against Spurs on Thursday evening, scoring twice in the first half with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford finding the back of the net.United were positive.

However, in the second half, they struggled with everything Spurs had and substitutions did not work out all that well for United. Fred provided energy but lost the ball and it seemed fitting that Christian Eriksen should have stayed on the pitch. United will need to find a way of taking on this resurgent Villa side who are seeking to break into European football next season. Whilst there is no chance United can fall out of the top four this weekend, they will need to win.

United have six points and two games in hand over both Spurs and Villa so it will take a few poor results for United for them to be at risk of not finishing in the top four this season. United should be seeking to win their next three matches in the Premier League which should give them a great chance of securing their place in the top for and therefore the group stages of the UEFA Champions League next season – which was the major target for United this season.

Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa

Written by John Walker


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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.