Who: Aston Villa vs Manchester United
When: Thursday, July 9th @ 3:15pam ET
Line: Aston Villa +850 | Draw +420 | Manchester United -305
Manchester United are flying high on their best run of form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, having stretched their unbeaten streak to 16 with the thrashing of Bournemouth! They’re also arguably playing their most attractive style since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and the players are genuinely happy together.
While the Red Devils’ final stretch of the season isn’t as daunting as their Premier League top-4 rivals, OGS can’t allow complacency to set in. Aston Villa look set for relegation but they won’t go down without a fight. The Villains snatched a point from Old Trafford earlier this season & the Red Devils will be bound on revenge. Noticing how good United look right now, they should come out of Villa Park with all three points.
Aston Villa Predicted XI
Reina, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Taylor, McGinn, Luiz, Grealish, El-Ghazi, Trezeguet, Samatta
Villa have a few injury issues which don’t help their relegation battle one bit. Prolific striker Wesley Moraes, defenders Matt Targett, Bjorn Engels and goalkeeper Tom Heaton are all out for the United game.
Manchester United Predicted X
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Martial, Rashford
Victor Lindelof is a doubt for the Villa game after he suffered an injury against Bournemouth. Axel Tuanzebe & Phil Jones are also out, which means Ole will probably make one change to the team that ran riot at the weekend.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United preview
It’s clear that Solskjaer has had a positive influence on his players during the break, as United have looked a level higher than what they were before the season was suspended. To his delight, the players are really enjoying playing together. The confidence is high, everyone is happy & there’s a sense of optimism once again.
But he needs to ensure that United don’t take a single remaining game for granted. One loss can shatter their dreams of managing a top-4 or top-3 finish. With Leicester City having the possibility of dropping points in a tough game to Arsenal, the Red Devils need to ensure they get the job done.
Fortunately, their attacking line is just too hot to handle for Villa currently. Bruno Fernandes continues to be a revelation. With his creativity in forcing opportunities to just taking them for himself, the Portuguese midfielder is arguably the club’s greatest signing in the post-Sir Alex era.
What he’s also done is elevate Paul Pogba’s standards. The Frenchman might not have scored yet after the break, but his excellent chemistry with Bruno will ensure opportunities to score goals are aplenty for the forward line. Nemanja Matic, too, received a deserved new contract for playing the commander-in-chief role in midfield.
The Red Devils front three off Anthony Martial–Marcus Rashford–Mason Greenwood all scored against Bournemouth. Greenwood easily looks like the best teenage striker in Europe right now. With his menacing movement & unpredictable finishing, the 18-year-old should continue tormenting defenders.
Rashford has his confidence back and should trouble the Villa defenders with his interchanging & link-up play with Martial. As long as the two keep up their clever movement, United should be able to dominate the attacking third. Villa are just not confident enough right now to fully contain the Red Devils.
However, United target Jack Grealish could cause problems on the other end. A creative, driven figure, he’ll look to make the perfect audition on Thursday. If the Red Devils continue their sloppy defending which allowed Bournemouth 2 goals at the weekend, Villa’s hard-working attackers could create quite a few problems.
But United’s momentum levels are too high to have their unbeaten streak broken by a side who last won a game in January. They should pick up another win on the road & maintain their charge for a top-4 spot.
Villa can be quite stubborn defensively (which they proved against Liverpool) and could make things difficult for United. But the Red Devils should get the win & I see a 2-0 win on the cards.