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Preview: Aston Villa vs Manchester United

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Villa Park plays host to the Reds as we make the trip to Birmingham.

Manchester United are coming off an emphatic 5-2 win against AFC Bournemouth over the weekend.

Aston Villa, on the other hand, head into the fixture on the back of a spirited 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Here’s everything you need to know!

Team News

United

Victor Lindelof’s availability is in doubt after the central defender sustained a back problem against the Cherries. He was substituted at half-time. The Swede will be assessed after Ole said the injury was “not bad” and he “might” feature in the Midlands.

Eric Bailly would be the obvious replacement if Lindelof doesn’t make it, with former Villa loanee Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones still ruled out.

Victor Lindelof
Victor Lindelöf is a doubt to start

Villa

Centre-back Tyrone Mings and reported United target Jack Grealish should be fine to play, despite seeming to pick up knocks in the visit to Anfield. “Tyrone took a whack on the calf against Liverpool and Jack had tight calves, but they both came through training yesterday,” Smith told reporters during Wednesday’s pre-match briefing.

Meanwhile, former Red Tom Heaton along with Matt Targett and Wesley are all out.

There could be a familiar face in goal for the hosts. Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is expected to make another start.

Tyrone Mings will be hoping to overcome a knock

Match Facts

Head-to-head

  • This is the 50th Premier League fixture between these sides. Aston Villa have won just 3 of the previous 49, losing 34 times.
  • Villa have won just one of their last 42 Premier League meetings with United (D11, L30), with their solitary victory coming at Old Trafford in December 2009. A certain Ashley Young was in the opposition uniform that night.
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 20 Premier League away games against Aston Villa (W13, D7) since the infamous 3-1 defeat at Villa Park on the opening day of the 1995/96 season.

Previous Meeting

Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 2

Back in December, both sides played out an entertaining draw at Old Trafford.

Talisman Jack Grealish put the visitors ahead with a sumptuous goal just 10 minutes in. But the Reds rallied to lead 2-1 with goals either side of half time – a Tom Heaton reverse and a looping header from Lindelöf.

A Tyrone Mings equaliser shortly after ensured Dean Smith’s side left Manchester with a share of the spoils.

Also Read : Solskjaer reveals reason for Martial’s Perfomances

Anthony Martial against Aston Villa at Old Trafford

Thoughts

The West Midlands venue is traditionally a happy hunting ground for the Reds. Aside from countless cup semi-final victories, we haven’t lost to the Villans there in 25 years, a run of 20 consecutive visits without defeat.

With so many games on the horizon, there is the option of rotating the squad or retaining an unchanged XI in the Premier League for a fourth successive match, providing Victor is fit.

Ole has decisions to make

Following Leicester City’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal, United now know that winning each of our remaining fixtures will guarantee us a top-four finish. A win will also put some daylight from the chasing pack. Wolves succumbed to a late goal at Sheffield United.

Dean Smith’s men were unlucky to end up empty-handed in Merseyside during the weekend. It could quite easily have stayed 0-0. The game was a perfect example of where the bigger club with the better bench was able to make substitutions to win the game.

That could be the key in how this fixture turns out and Villa are running out of games in their battle to stay in the division.

Diogo Jota will be looking to start

Prediction

You’d have to imagine the home side would settle for a similar performance and scoreline, akin to the corresponding fixture from earlier in the season.

Ole’s charges will be looking to become the first team in Premier League history to win four consecutive matches by a margin of at least three goals.

Also Read : Hargreaves : “United’s front three outperformed Liverpool’s front three”

More of the same?

Will Ole make changes? What are your predictions? Share your thoughts with us!

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