Friday, March 1, 2024

Prediction: Aston Villa vs Manchester United

Verdict: Goal to be scored in both halves

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Dachbet

Looking to spring an upset in the Midlands this weekend, Manchester United will make the trip to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.

Aston Villa

Starting with the hosts, while Aston Villa might have continued to receive a string of plaudits from across England’s elite this season, Unai Emery’s men do have the feel of a squad seeking a recent boost. Shockingly crashing out of the FA Cup earlier in the week as they eventually fell to a 3-1 loss at the hands of Chelsea, the one-time Arsenal boss has seen his squad muster just a single victory from any of their previous five domestic appearances across all competitions. Although Villa might have stormed their way to a routine 5-0 romp away at leading relegation scrappers Sheffield United last weekend, Emery’s side have shown some recent issues on home soil. In fact, Sunday’s hosts have lost back-to-back showdowns at Villa Park for the first time over the past 12 months. However, still battling it out in the Champions League chase, the Villains will be desperate to make a real statement of intent here.

Team News

Both still dealing with respective long-term knee injuries, Aston Villa will once again be without the duo of Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings on Sunday afternoon. Likewise, the duo of Pau Torres and French international Lucas Digne are not expected to feature this weekend.

Finding the net in back-to-back Premier League appearances and already notching 11 top-flight goals this season, attacking talisman Ollie Watkins will spearhead Emery’s charge here. Bagging a consolation strike against Chelsea in midweek, summer recruit Moussa Diaby will be hoping for a full recall.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, while Manchester United might have come under a huge amount of scrutiny this season, Erik ten Hag’s side are riding a recent wave of momentum. Last seen putting in a thumping display as they stormed to a 3-0 romp at home against West Ham, the former Ajax boss finds his superstar squad in the midst of a five-match unbeaten run across all competitions. Although the Reds might be facing a real uphill battle in their bid to punch another crucial Champions League ticket this year, ten Hag’s men have found a recent clinical edge in the final third. Snatching what was a stunning 4-3 victory away at Wolves on February 1st, United have now bagged 15 strikes on their five-match flurry. Likewise, eventually picking up a thrilling 3-2 win when they welcomed Aston Villa to Old Trafford for their reverse Premier League showdown on Boxing Day, the firmer champions will be desperate for a repeat performance here.

Team News

In what is a real blow for Manchester United, the Reds have confirmed that Lisandro Martinez faces another stint on the sidelines with a knee injury. Likewise, the Reds will travel to Villa Park without the likes of Mason Mount, Anthony Martial and Tyrell Malacia.

Once again finding the net against West Ham last week and now notching four goals in as many domestic appearances, Rasmus Hojlund will spearhead ten Hag’s attack on Sunday afternoon. Despite being at the heart of an off-field controversy last week, Marcus Rashford will partner Hojlund in the final third.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Aston Villa and Manchester United met for their reverse Premier League meeting on Boxing Day, the Red Devils picked up a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford.
    • Sunday’s hosts have lost back-to-back domestic appearances at Villa Park for the first time over the past 12 months.
    • Likewise, Aston Villa have won just one of their last five meetings against Premier League opposition.
    • Manchester United have notched 15 strikes on their five-match domestic unbeaten run.
    • Rasmus Hojlund has found the net in all of his previous four domestic appearances on the bounce.

    Conclusion

    With Sunday’s opponents playing out a five-goal thriller when they met at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, neutrals will be hoping for another Premier League thriller this weekend. Watching United enjoying a real free-scoring flurry in the final third, chances could come thick and fast at Villa Park. It should be highlighted, with six of the previous seven meetings between the European chasers finishing with both teams getting on the scoresheet, we are backing what should be an enjoyable battle from the Midlands here.

    Verdict: Goal to be scored in both halves

    Best Odds: 3/5

    Bookmaker: Dachbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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