Manchester United extended their undefeated streak with another win last week, as they didn’t encounter problems to defeat Bournemouth. Their chances of earning a spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League berth continue to increase and will try to secure three more points Thursday, when they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park. Kick-off for this game is slated at 20:15 GMT.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might play with something quite close to his Best XI, as the team is more alive than ever in the race to clinch a spot in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. The only two absentees will be Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe. Both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes were doubtful last week, but both started and shouldn’t have problems ot feature once again here. Solskjaer is not likely to make many changes, as he will try to avoid disrupting the team’s form. Victor Lindelof is doubtful with a back problem, but he is likely to start either way.
On the other hand, Aston Villa will have several absentees ahead of this contest. Wesley, Tom Heaton, Matt Targett and Bjorn Engels have all been ruled out through injury. Out of those four players, Wesley, Heaton and Targett would undoubtedly start if fit. To make things even more complicated, Lovre Kalinic has been listed as doubtful with a thigh injury.
The Red Devils enter this game on the heels of a 16-game undefeated streak in all competitions. This run includes nine straight contests undefeated at the Premier League level (W6, D3) following their most recent win against Bournemouth. Their most recent loss came on January 22nd against Burnley, but United were not as strong back then as they are right now. Their 10-game form reads: W6, D3, L1 — that’s the second-best mark in the Premier League over that span. Manchester United are in fifth place of the standings with 55 points. They are four points behind Leicester City, but they could close that gap to one point if they earn the three points.
Things have been undoubtedly different for Aston Villa. The Villa Park outfit have gone winless in their last five league matches, taking just two points during that span (D2, L3). The Villains are in 18th place of the standings with 27 points. Things are so bad, that not even a win could move them away from the red zone. The writing seems to be on the wall for Villa, and their home form shouldn’t offer many reasons for positivism, either. Villa have gone W5, D3, L8 at home in 2019-20.
What is our recent record against Aston Villa?
Manchester United have faced Aston Villa several teams in this century, although they hadn’t visited Villa Park since 2015. They secured a 1-0 win in that match and, in fact, The Red Devils have not lost in his venue in the Premier League since the 1995-16 season.
The previous meeting between these two sides this season finished with a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. Tom Heaton (own goal) and Victor Lindelof scored for The Red Devils, while Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings netted for The Villains.
Manchester United are favourites according to most bookmakers. Aston Villa have their backs against the wall, but that might not matter much. Manchester United are playing good enough to defeat almost any team in the league at the moment. That will hold true Thursday, as The Reds shouldn’t face major issues to secure the win in this contest.