Manchester United host Aston Villa at the Old Trafford on Saturday in an early kickoff. The Red Devils shockingly crashed out from the English League Cup in their mid-week fixture against the Hammers. Aston Villa too was eliminated after a tense penalty shootout against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Both the teams will look to bounce back with a win in the Premier League.
Still unbeaten and 3rd in the Premier League, Man United will focus on winning this game to further climb up the ladder. Aston Villa has had a mixed start to the season with two wins and one draw, plus two losses from five league games. However, the confidence will be there in the camp, with a 3-0 win over Everton last week. It will be interesting what strategies both the managers adapt in this fixture.
Aston Villa suffers a double blow coming into this clash. Villa boss Dean Smith has confirmed that winger Leon Bailey has been ruled out with injury. Villa is also set to miss Morgan Sanson. The midfielder returned from his injury against Chelsea in the midweek and then suffered a hamstring strain. Aston Villa is also already without Axel Tuanzebe, who is ineligible to play this fixture. This could mean that former Man Utd player, Ashley Young might make it to the starting XI.
Aston Villa PL Form: W L D W L
After resting many key players in the Carabao Cup fixture, Ole Solskjaer will look to start his chosen XI. Manchester United has McTominay, David De Gea, Paul Pogba, and Cristiano Ronaldo coming back to the team. Whether Edinson Cavani also makes a return to the team, remains to be seen. Anthony Martial’s dip in form means Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly a go-to man upfront for Ole Solskjaer.
Manchester United PL Form: W W W D W
Predicted Line Ups
Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez
Defense: Tyrone Mings, Kortney Hause, Ezri Konsa
Midfield: Ashley Young, Matty Cash, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba, Jacob Ramsey
Attack: Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins
Injuries- Leon Bailey, Morgan Sanson, Trezeguet, Keinan Davis, Matt Targett, John McGinn
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defense: Aaron Wan Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw
Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba
Attack: Cristiano Ronaldo
Injuries: Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Amad Diallo
Players to watch
The Portuguese attacking midfielder could be the most marked player in the final third. Bruno Fernandes can turn the game around on his own by providing assists, through balls, free kicks, and long-range shots. He is also excellent in taking free-kicks and is deadly inside the box. Fernandes will look to replicate similar performances against Villa as well.
The star man’s return to Old Trafford has certainly lived up to its hype. Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored three goals in two PL matches scoring two against Newcastle and one last week. He will look to add more goals to the tally this weekend as well.
The prolific forward was a star signing for Aston Villa. Mike Dean’s go-to man has scored two goals in five matches so far and has also provided two assists. Danny Ings can cause plenty of headaches to the defense with his quick and clever movements and clinical finishing.
Another forward who can cause plenty of havoc in the defenses is Ollie Watkins. The pacey forward scored some important goals for Villa last season and will look to replicate similar performances this season as well. Watkins has had a slow start this season as he has featured in only two and is yet to register a goal to his name. This alone should motivate him to fire in front of the goal.
The two teams have had great clashes in the past and playing Aston Villa is no easy game. Even though Man United holds an edge at Old Trafford, Villa would certainly fancy an upset. Dean Smith’s attacking setup means Villa will always fancy their chances upfront. Even though they have had ups and downs early on, Aston Villa will be determined to give everything to make life difficult for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.
Manchester United on the other hand will look to bounce back from the midweek disappointment. They have three important home games (including this one) coming up before the next International break. Clean sheets are one area that continues to be a work in progress. If Manchester United are to genuinely challenge for the title, they must end their games keeping more clean sheets.
Our Prediction: Man Utd 3 – Aston Villa 1
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