Thursday, January 20, 2022

Prediction: Manchester United vs Aston Villa

Tom Dunstan in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 9 Jan 2022

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Verdict: Aston Villa to score over 0.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: Unibet

Two Premier League outfits who have their sights set on extending on their FA Cup adventure on Monday night, Manchester United will welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, last seen opening the New Year with what was a hugely worrying display on home soil, it appears that the mood in Manchester United’s camp is at a real low. Eventually hit with what was a deserved late 1-0 defeat against Wolves at Old Trafford on January 3rd, the former Premier League champions have really struggled to find their feet under new boss Ralf Rangnick. With reports already suggesting that United’s interim boss is under growing pressure, despite only taking charge back in November, the Reds are in an uphill battle if they’re to clinch another top-four finish this season. Also coming under real scrutiny for their unflattering 1-1 draw away at relegation scrappers Newcastle last month, Monday’s hosts have gained a reputation for their recent issues in the final third. Managing to record more than a single strike in just one of their first six matchups under Rangnick, United really have the feel of a side seeking some kind of boost here.

Team News

Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire once again remains a major doubt ahead of Monday’s meeting at Old Trafford.

Along with Paul Pogba dealing with a long-term thigh injury, central defender Eric Bailly will miss out as he is at this year’s AFCON.

Aston Villa

As for the visitors, while Aston Villa might have gained plenty of plaudits since bringing Steven Gerrard to the Midlands back in November, the Clarets are coming off the back of their own New Year’s defeat. Throwing away the lead at Premier League debutants Brentford and eventually hit with a late 2-1 loss in west London, the former Rangers boss will be calling on his new squad to find some stability. Handed a real boost with it announced that Brazilian superstar Philippe Coutinho has agreed on a loan switch from Barcelona until the end of the season, Monday’s guests could be smelling the chance to cause an upset on the road. However, suffering what has been a testing schedule on his start to life in England’s top-flight, Gerrard has seen his squad lose three of their last four Premier League matchups. Likewise, it should also be noted, Aston Villa have lost five of their previous seven contests outside of the Midlands, a run that stems back to the end of September.

Team News

After missing Villa’s 2-1 defeat against Brentford, the England duo of Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings are expected to return here.

After making a stunning loan move from Barcelona, Coutinho could make his debut for Gerrard’s side on Monday night.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Monday’s opponents last faced off back on September 25th, Aston Villa picked up a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
    • Manchester United have managed to score more than a single strike in just one of their opening six contests under Rangnick.
    • Aston Villa have lost three of their last four Premier League matchups.
    • Likewise, Gerrard’s new squad have also lost five of their previous seven top-flight contests away from Villa Park.
    • The Reds have managed to record just a single clean sheet from any of their previous 14 home fixtures across all formats.

    Conclusion

    Opening the New Year with a sluggish 1-0 defeat at home against Wolves, it is fair to say that Manchester United have really struggled to find their best form since bringing Rangnick to Old Trafford. Showing some worrying issues at both ends of the pitch, Monday’s hosts have also continued to struggle with their defensive problems on home soil. Managing to record just a single clean sheet at Old Trafford from any of their previous 14 attempts, some in Aston Villa’s camp might be smelling the chance to cause an upset. Despite eventually getting hit with a late 1-0 loss away at Brentford last week, the Clarets have gained plenty of plaudits since appointing Gerrard. Landing a 1-0 win in their trip to Manchester back in September, Villa should be looking to test a downbeat Manchester United squad here.

    Verdict: Aston Villa to score over 0.5 goals

    Best Odds: 8/15

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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