After booking our place in the Europa League final on Thursday, Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday afternoon. We head to the West Midlands as we take on Aston Villa. The match kicks off at 14:05PM BST. The game can be watched live in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 13:00 PM.
A win for the Red Devils would ultimately secure a place inside the top four. Both on and off the pitch over the last few weeks, you can say that things at United are never dull. The media spotlight has been on a club since the ill-fated European Super League. This then followed the protests which led to the postponement of last weekend’s league fixture against Liverpool.
Sunday’s match will be our second in a four-game week. This will be followed by facing Leicester City and Liverpool in the space of two days with the latter fixture rearranged to a time that has not been favoured by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær or Jürgen Klopp.
Whilst there is a lot to do in mending relations off the pitch, it is on the pitch that United is thriving. Three points at the weekend would mean we are nine points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea with three games left.
United arrive into the game against Aston Villa off the back of our 3-2 defeat to Roma in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final. Though it did not affect the overall result as we had won the first leg 6-2. It could have been nervier for us in Rome. However, an inspired David De Gea was pulling off a number of great saves to stop Roma from scoring even more.
With regards to the league, we have only lost four games all season. This is the same amount as champions elect Manchester City. We only have had one defeat in the last 27 matches. United is currently unbeaten in 13 league games since the loss to Sheffield United back in January.
A place inside the top four is looking secure. Victory in the Europa League final against Villarreal would represent a good season for the Red Devils. It is thanks to our away form this season that had led to this success.
We have got seven more points away from home this season. The Red Devils are unbeaten in the last 24 league away games – just three short of Arsenal’s all-time top-flight record.
Manchester United Team News
For United, there are no new injury concerns. With the number of fixtures to be played in the next week, it is expected that Ole Gunnar Solskjær will rotate the squad. With fixtures against Leicester City and Liverpool being the tougher matches. It means the team will have to be managed more carefully to prevent the risk of injury. It could be likely that the team that plays against Villa will be the same line up against Liverpool on Thursday.
Marcus Rashford, Dean Henderson, Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay who were rested from the start in the midweek game should come back into the side. Both Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who were substituted at half time against Roma should be feeling fine.
Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, and Bruno Fernandes who came off before the end of the Roma game should feature against Aston Villa.
Solskjær did reveal in his pre-match conference that Anthony Martial is making good progress on recovering from his knee injury. Daniel James is also a doubt as to whether he will make the squad for Sunday’s game.
Manchester United’s Predicted Lineup
Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba, and Cavani.
Aston Villa has restored some confidence in themselves after triumphing over Everton 2-1 in the last league fixtures. This had previously followed a three-match winless run. This win also lifted the Midlands side back into the top half of the table. Victory on Sunday would mean they would win back-to-back consecutive Premier League games since December.
However, Villa has not won a game against a team in the top two positions since March 2014. Their form has curtailed since the start of the year. They have lost nine league games, with only four defeats previous to that.
There has been much improvement from this side who were battling relegation last season only surviving on the final day of the season. They will now be looking to finish inside the top half come the end of it.
Aston Villa Team News
Aston Villa will be without their captain and talisman Jack Grealish as he misses his 12th game in a row due to a shin injury. Manager Dean Smith is hoping to have him available and could possibly feature in the next home game against Everton.
Trezeguet misses out as he is set for a lengthy absence on the sidelines after having surgery on his knee. This will see more game time for Anwar El Ghazi, who has scored two goals in last two appearances with the winner against Everton.
The main attacking threat will come from Ollie Watkins who has hit seven goals against those sides inside the top six. He needs one more goal which would equal the club’s record of 14 goals set by an Englishman currently held by Julian Joachim.
Manchester United Premier League form: WWWWWD
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWWDWL
Aston Villa Premier League form: LWLLDW
- Manchester United is unbeaten in their last 21 Premier League away games against Aston Villa (W14 D7) since a 3-1 loss on the opening day of the 1995-96 campaign. It’s the longest unbeaten away run one side has had against another in English league history. (source:: Opta)
- Manchester United is unbeaten in their last 24 Premier League away games (W15 D9), just three short of Arsenal’s all-time top-flight record between April 2003 and September 2004. (source: Opta)
- In their 10 away league games so far in 2021, Manchester United has kept seven clean sheets and conceded just once in each of the other three. (source: Opta)
The omens look good for United as our away record to Aston Villa is excellent having not lost in 21 league games at Villa Park. Solskjær could field his strongest side on Sunday in a bid to rubber stamp second place in the Premier League. United will want to maintain their impressive away run as we are three short of equalling Arsenal’s record of 27 away games unbeaten.
Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United