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Manchester United v Aston Villa – Match Preview

Manchester United take on Aston Villa at Old Trafford this weekend, with both sides having suffered defeat in the Carabao Cup third round in midweek.

Here’s all you need to know about Saturday’s meeting:

Form

Manchester United: WWLWL

The Red Devils endured mixed fortunes this week as they survived late drama to edge past West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday, before the Hammers exacted revenge with a 1-0 win at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.

The two sides first meeting saw Said Benrahma’s deflected effort give the hosts the lead at the London Stadium, before Cristiano Ronaldo netted his fourth goal in just three games to draw United level before half-time.

 

In an action-packed final few minutes, substitute Jesse Lingard returned to haunt his former side with a stunning late effort, before the home side were then awarded a stoppage-time penalty following Luke Shaw’s handball, with club captain Mark Noble thrust into action off the bench to take the spot-kick.

Unfortunately for the one-club man, his effort was excellently denied by David De Gea as Manchester United claimed all three points, the Spaniard recording his first penalty save for the club in the league since October 2014 and continuing his side’s remarkable 29-game unbeaten run in the league on the road.

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Following that triumph, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rang the changes for the midweek Carabao Cup clash, although that decision ultimately backfired as an early Manuel Lazini strike proved the difference for David Moyes’ side, with the likes of Anthony Martial and Alex Telles, in particular, failing to capitalise on a rare chance for game time.

Having been rested for that defeat, the likes of Ronaldo, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are all expected to return to the starting XI this weekend, although it remains to be seen if Edinson Cavani will be fit enough to feature having been absent in recent weeks.

Aston Villa: WDLWL

Dean Smith’s side are continuing to adjust to life without former talisman Jack Grealish, yet have no doubt been much improved in recent weeks, notably claiming a well deserved 3-0 win at Villa Park against Everton on Saturday.

The hosts had produced a spirited display in the defeat to Chelsea the week before and continued that form against the Toffees, with a second-half blitz seeing them condemn Rafa Benitez’s side to a first defeat of the campaign.

Defender Matty Cash netted his first goal for the club midway through the second-half to fire Villa ahead, before the introduction of summer signing Leon Bailey truly brought the game to life, the former Bayer Leverkusen man making it 2-0 after seeing his corner deflect in off an unfortunate Lucas Digne.

The Jamaican international then sealed the win with his first goal for the club with an excellent finish on the break, albeit with his blistering cameo then cut short by injury less than 20 minutes after he had initially entered the fray.

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Following that win, Villa were then undone on penalties in the Carabao Cup third-round tie with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side, as spot-kick misses from Ashley Young and Marvelous Nakamba ultimately proved costly, with goals from Timo Werner and Cameron Archer having left the two sides level at full-time.

As for the trip to Old Trafford, Dean Smith will be without United loanee Axel Tuanzebe as he is ineligible to face his parent club, while Bailey remains a major doubt following his withdrawal last weekend. Scotland international John McGinn is also a doubt after suffering a head injury against Everton.

Last Meeting

Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United, 9 May 2021

The two sides last meeting came at the back end of last season, as United maintained their excellent away record with yet another comeback victory.

The hosts had taken the lead midway through the first-half following Bertrand Traore’s stunning effort from the angle, with Mason Greenwood going close to drawing his side level just before half-time.

That equaliser did eventually come after the break as Bruno Fernandes converted from the penalty spot following a soft, but needless foul from Douglas Luiz on Paul Pogba, before Greenwood put the Red Devils ahead with a smart turn and finish just moments later.

The visitors then sealed the win in the closing stages with Edinson Cavani heading home from Marcus Rashford’s excellent cross, with Villa’s misery then compounded as Ollie Watkins was shown a second yellow card for what was adjudged to be a dive late on.

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Predicted Lineups

Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo.

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Targett; Luiz, Nakamba, Ramsey; Ings, Watkins

Who is the referee?

Mike Dean

What channel is Man Utd v Aston Villa on?

Unfortunately, the game is not available to watch or stream in the UK or Ireland.

What time is kick off?

Saturday 25 September, 12:30 BST

Odds

Man United – 4/11

Aston Villa – 7/1

Draw – 17/4

Fantasy Premier League: Four of the best FPL captains for gameweek six

See also – Ranking the five best centre-backs in the Premier League right now

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