Manchester United are back in Premier League action after a full week of working on the training ground and it is time for us to see what will Erik Ten Hag’s side bring out this weekend. Here is what you need to know ahead of the tricky trip to face Aston Villa.
There are plenty of bad news for Unai Emery and his squad options. Yes, Nicolo Zaniolo and Pau Torres are back from injuries and Morgan Rogers is available again after having to sit out the Chelsea match in the FA Cup, but there are still plenty of players who will not be able to help. Ezri Konsa’s recent knee injury will be a big blow for Villa in the coming weeks, while the knee problems are also keeping out the likes of Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings. Jhon Duran is still not ready after his hamstring injury and Lucas Digne is a doubt following his thigh problem.
United have their problems too. Lisandro Martinez was ruled out for eight weeks and will probably miss all matches until the end of March. Anthony Martial is out after his groin intervention, Tyrell Malacia is out because of his knee and Mason Mount is still on the sidelines because of his calf. Also, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s injury in training means Ten Hag will definitely rely on Diogo Dalot at right-back.
Aston Villa are not exactly in the form they made their fans get used to during 2023. In December, they managed consecutive home wins against Manchester City and Arsenal, in November they defeated Tottenham and before that destroyed the likes of West Ham and AZ Alkmaar. But in more recent times, they won just one of their last five matches. After a 0-0 draw at Everton, Villa drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup. That replay from three days ago did not go well for them, as Chelsea beat them 3-1 at Villa Park. In between, they also lost to Newcastle, also at home, and with the same scoreline. The only good result in their last five games was the 5-0 beating of Sheffild United, which only slightly restored the old good mood in Unai Emery’s squad.
As for Manchester United, things are looking better. It seems as this team is improving in recent weeks, but not in any drastic measures. And that could be a good thing. There are no big, incredible wins which will make everyone hype up the team, before the squad necessarily disappoints in the very next game. In fact, Untied’s run of three wins in all competitions is for the most part not that thrilling. Their wins 4-2 at Newport and 4-3 at Wolverhampton were thrilling for the neutrals, but United still exuded the inescapable ability to mess things up before somehow getting the win. Last weekend’s 3-0 win against West Ham was much better and hopefully the Devils will now get to build on that.
This will be a tough match, but one the visitors have to win if they are to keep putting pressure on the teams fighting for the Champions League qualification. We predict Manchester United will beat Aston Villa 1-0 and get closer to them in the Premier League standings.