Manchester United defeated Aston Villa on Monday night and now the Red Devils are getting to play against… Well, Aston Villa. Following their meeting in the FA Cup third round match earlier this week, the two sides are now changing the location of their next clash and also the competition. Aston Villa will be hosting Ralf Rangnick’s side at their Villa Park and here is everything you need to know ahead of the Saturday match.
Aston Villa are in an interesting situation in terms of their personnel. While they will have to play without Leon Bailey and Marvelous Nakamba due to injuries, and without midfielder John McGinn who is currently suspended, there will be some interest in what can new signings bring. Phillipe Coutinho joined Villa from Barcelona and is poised to start, while Lucas Digne also could feature, as another former Barcelona player will be expected to play at left-back. More problems for Villa are made by Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet, who are with their national sides at the Africa Cup of Nations.
For Man United, Paul Pogba is the only player that will for sure not feature in this match due to injury, but there are more players who will not play – Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are suspended, while Eric Bailly is with Ivory Coast, playing at the Africa Cup of Nations. Cristiano Ronaldo should be back in starting lineup, as well as the likes of Nemanja Matic, who is expected to start instead of suspended McTominay.
As far as the recent results are concerned, Manchester United are a mixed bag of sorts. Their results have not been consistent and their performances go hand in hand with those results. After a win against Norwich a month ago, they had played just four matches, never winning twice in a row. They defeated Burnley and Aston Villa, but have also drawn Newcastle and lost to Wolves. United did not have a tough schedule recently, but they have still been vulnerable in most matches they have played. Now, after a tight 1-0 win against Villa at Old Trafford, it is time to face them at Villa Park in a league encounter.
On the other hand, Steven Gerrard’s side has only one win in the past five matches, meaning they have lost all the other four in the past month. However, three of those losses came at the hands of Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United, meaning only their loss to Brentford was less expected. Gerrard’s side will be improved by a couple of transfers made recently and at home, they could be more dangerous than they were on Monday night.
Aston Villa will have plenty of problems with their starting lineups and despite new signings, Manchester United are expected to win – and we predict a 2-1 victory for the Red Devils. The expected return of Cristiano Ronaldo should be a massive boost, while Villa’s morale could get even worse following their tough run of matches.